About clean wine

Ever wonder how your favorite bottle of wine can taste the same every time you open it?  Essentially, it is chemical quality control.  A typical winery will use pesticides, additives and sweeteners to protect crops, enhance yields, control bacteria and even deliver the color you have come to expect.  The techniques are designed to maximize profitability and deliver a consistent customer experience.  Unfortunately, it is not a natural process and can have adverse effects on your health or submit you to headaches from allergic reactions, excess sugar or histamines.

Clean wine is held to a different standard.  There are specific guidelines that must be upheld to be certified and carry the label of “clean crafted”, “organic” or “bio-dynamic.”  The industry is developing and different wineries claim different processes, but according to one domestic producer:

“we triple hand sorts grapes to remove damaged grapes that have high levels of bacteria. Histamines are produced during the fermentation process by the interaction of bacteria
and yeast. By reducing bacteria in the fermenter, we reduce the source of unwanted  histamine production and the need to use sulfite (SO2) during this stage of wine making. A clean fermentation environment, regular feedings with organic yeast food and an adequate supply of oxygen keep the yeast healthy. These measures significantly reduce the histamine levels, leaving very little in the finished wine. Those who get red wine headaches and have reactions to most wines can usually drink wine made through this process and bring back the enjoyment of drinking red wine into their lives”


The tenants of clean wine should include:

  • Grown without synthetic pesticides
  • No added chemical enhancers (there are 250 FDA approved additives)
  • No added sugar (mass produced wines have up to 16 grams of added sugar!)
  • Low sulphites (less than 50 ppm)
  • Harvested from sustainable vines

Tasting is believing.  I hold tastings monthly and would be happy to arrange a time that works for you and your friends and family.  If you are interested in more information before tasting, I have included a link to a club that hunts down certified clean-craft wineries and secures supply for us.