Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Prosecco Spumante Superiore di Valdobbiadene, DOCG, "Lunatico" Biowein, Azienda Agricola Francesca Rizzo

A unique sparkling wine, pleasantly refreshing, lively, very precise, clear, clean with fragrances of white wildflowers, citrus fruit and green apples. Very fine and sophisticated on the palate with fresh fruity aromas. Excellent as an aperitif, with  hors d'oeuvre, light dishes or just for fun. 

Azienda Agricola Francesca Rizzi

This is only a tiny vineyard that was part of Francesca’s family weekend house while they lived in Venice. 15 years ago Francesca started to cultivate the vines in her own way, which means organically without the use of chemicals and artificial fertilizers. The house and the vineyard are on the hilltop overlooking the plains of Veneto where the lower priced wines (less work, higher yields, less quality) are produced. The vineyard itself is far away from the others and separated by its altitude, trees and bushes, so it can’t be polluted. This is exactly what we are looking for and how we interpret organic farming. The vineyard is difficult to access and hard to work in because the slopes are so steep that no machines can be used. Unless one can see the natural surroundings and taste the result of Francesca’s way of working, one would think of the adjective “loony”, but this is not what Francesca intended to express by calling her prosecco “ Lunatico”. In order to produce Lunatico, many of the procedures from planting to pruning, harvesting and bottling are carried out under the influence of certain phases of the moon, and this is why the moon can be also seen on the labels of the prosecco bottles.

This is Bob Tyrer's verdict about the Lunatico, published in the Sunday Times on November 2011: “Lunatico is the best prosecco I have ever come across – so much more refreshing and lovely than the three champagnes I tasted alongside it.”

Erich Hartl

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Organicwinepure turns 30 in March

In retrospect, we would not want to have missed any part of the 30 years we have spent as importers and merchants of organic wine, especially since we were the first ones in Germany to make a deliberate decision, based on our convictions, in favor of organically produced wines.

During this time we have had to make several adjustments to altered circumstances. We started out as wholesalers and turned into retailers with two shops in Tübingen and Karlsuhe, and for some years most of our turnover has been from the mail-order business.

What impressed us in particular was the direct personal contact to all of our vintners, many of whom were real characters with personality as well as a great deal of knowledge and enthusiasm for their profession. We were able to learn a great deal from them and to gain valuable experience. Some of these vintners became good friends during this time. We would like to thank all of them sincerely for their friendship and their cooperation and for the trust they placed in us.

However we would not be able to celebrate our 30-year anniversary without all those customers who have remained loyal to us throughout the years. Thus we do really want to say a special thanks to all those customers who have been with us for so many years, but of course  to those of you as well who have not been purchasing our organic wines for quite such a long time. We are pleased to receive each and every order, and also pleased to have the personal contact to some of you, even if it is only a few words on the telephone, a short feedback by e-mail or on facebook. We would like to thank you for this as well.

We invite you to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Biowein(pur) with us. We think you will find some of our special offers very interesting and will be surprised at the reasonable prices. These are top-quality organic wines produced by vintners who have been a part of this from the very beginning and are pioneers in the field of organic winegrowing. However our range of products also includes wines from those who joined us at a later date, giving organic viticulture a broad basis. Our special anniversary offers will be available starting in mid-March at or

Erich Hartl 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Jancis Robinsons report on biodynamic wines

"On paper it sounds completely crazy, or at least a wholemeal sandwich short of a picnic, but when you see the health of the grapes that result and, perhaps even more importantly, the vibrancy of the wines typically produced, it is increasingly convincing.

"It’s worth considering a few of the French producers who have gone over entirely to biodynamic viticulture: Lalou Bize-Leroy most famously in her great vineyard holdings that make up the Domaine Leroy in Burgundy; neighbours Jean-Louis Trapet of Gevrey-Chambertin, Anne-Claude Leflaive of Domaine Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet and Dominique Lafon of Domaine Comtes Lafon of Meursault; Olivier Humbrecht of Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace and many others in Alsace such as Faller of Domaine Weinbach, Kreydenweiss and Josmeyer; Jacques Selosse of Champagne; Chapoutier of the Rhône valley; and Gaston Huet of Vouvray and, the great proselytizer, Nicolas Joly of Savennières in the Loire. These are not flower power sandal wearers. They are thoughtful, practical vine growers who are worried about the future of what we call ‘conventional’ farming on the planet and have seen that biodynamism works – even if they have no clue how."

Erich Hartl

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Is there any point in shipping organic wines to Europe from abroad?

The main ideas behind the organic movement were environmental protection, the health of humans and animals and the production of better and more natural organic food and wines.

In order to achieve this, chemical-synthetic pesticides, systemic pesticides (fungicides), herbicides and artificial fertilizers were banned from the vineyards. Good, serious organic vintners reduce the sulfur content in organic wine to a minimum and do not use any other questionable aids in the wine cellar.

Thus it seems paradoxical to transport organic wines from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Chile or Argentina and in doing so to pollute the environment with carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur, soot and particulate matter.

Of course organic wine dealers and many customers as well are interested in trying wines from other continents, but to be honest, how many wines would we be able to allocate to their origin if we were to do a blind wine-tasting. And there is no shortage of good European organic wines, quite the opposite is true. Due to their geographical and climatic diversity, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Austria and Germany, and other European countries as well produce a wide range of good and even excellent organic wines whose transport is considerably more environmentally friendly.

According to a report done by the UN and referred to by The Guardian, the carbon dioxide emission resulting from shipment by sea is three times higher than previously assumed. Thus the following amounts of carbon dioxide would be discharged into the air for the shipment of one bottle of wine:

Comparison between shipment by sea and road transport. Port of destination is Hamburg, delivery address Tübingen. This is based on a distance of 1,500 km for the transport by truck to the ports and from the port of destination to Tübingen. One bottle of organic wine weighs 1.4 kg.

Erich Hartl

Friday, 19 November 2010

Badia a Coltibuono - or one thousand years of organic viniculture

Badia a Colbituono, the abbey of the good harvest, is one of the most famous producers of Chianti Classico and in addition possibly one of the oldest wine-growing estates in Tuscany. It was founded around 1100 by the monks of the Vallombrosa order close to Gaiole in Chianti. During Napoleon's rule, Badia a Coltibuono was secularized and governed to begin with by a French general.

In 1946, Michele Giuntini, a Florentine banker and the great grandfather of the current owners, the Stucchi-Prinetti family, took over Badia a Colbituono. It was his grandson Piero Stucchi-Prinetti and his wife Lorenza di Medici who realized what potential it had for winegrowing and agriculture, and they also recognized its economic importance, not only in itself but also for Tuscany. What other vintner has such valuable vines, which have been growing uninterruptedly in one's own vineyards for about a thousand years and have adapted perfectly to the conditions there? Based on the monks' written records, which were carried on afterwards, we know that no other vines have ever been planted there. It was easy to practice certified organic agriculture with these vines, since there are only sporadic cases of fungal diseases or pests.

As the first female president of the Consortium of Chianti Classico Producers (Chianti Storico), Emanuele Stucchi-Prinetti, along with her brothers Guido and Paolo, who run Badia a Colbituono together, set exemplary standards for biological viniculture in terms of sustainability, quality and tradition. Anyone wanting proof of this should visit Badia a Colbituono, book a cooking course there, attend a wine tasting session, eat at the restaurant or order the organic wine produced by Badia a Colbituono from us:

Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico Riserva

Chianti Classico Cultus Boni

Chianti Classico Sangioveto

Erich Hartl

Friday, 15 October 2010

Burnt Organic Grapes


No, this is not an offer, but an alarming piece of new for us.

Shortly before the start of the grape harvest, a forest fire threatened the Domaine de la Triballe and the vineyards in several forest clearings. Olivier Durand told us during our visit two years that he was well prepared to face this danger, since he had large water tanks and had cleared the area around the house and the wine cellar of trees and bushes. Since Olivier and Sabine Durand were attending a wine fair in Brussels at the time, it was their daughters, the fire department and the firefighting aircraft who were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the estate.

In spite of this, several vineyards closest to the forest were destroyed. In addition, some of the vines and grapes which were damaged by the smoke and the extinguishing agents cannot be used for wine production this year. After several harvests with low yields, this is one more financial setback for the family, whose only comfort is that it could have been worse.

We will try to support them in the coming years.

Erich Hartl


Thursday, 10 June 2010

Organic Wine from Genetically Modified Vines?


At the moment, producing organic wine from genetically modified vines or grapes is not permitted, nor is it desired, and is presumably in the long run unthinkable.

In the remote future, it might be possible to dispense with chemical fungicides in conventional viniculture, fungicides which can cause cancer or are suspected of causing cancer. Even copper sulfate, which acts externally and is used in organic winegrowing, is harmful to the soil and thus the ground water as well.

The Chinese researcher Yuejin Wang, who works at the Yanling Forestry University (source: New Scientist) discovered that a wild Chinese vine contains 6 times more resveratrol than conventional grapes. Resveratrol not only made headlines recently as the key to a long life with its anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective effects, it also protects many plants, vines as well, against dreaded fungus and mildew such as powdery mildew and downy mildew (Oidium and Peronospora). However the amounts present in most varietals are not sufficient to protect them permanently against fungus.

By isolating the Vitus pseudoreticulata gene, which is the reason for the high resveratrol content, in the wild grapevine, and by transferring this to "normal" grapevines (vitis vinifera), it might be possible in the future to plant genetically modified vines in conventional and in organic viniculture which initially seems to provide a lot of advantages: fewer chemicals in viniculture, less environmental pollution, a higher resveratrol content in red wine particularly which would increase the positive effects on health in every respect. However, the consequences of genetically modified agricultural production have not yet been studied as a whole.