The corona virus has disrupted the wine world. Not surprisingly, sales of restaurants, bars and pubs fell sharply. To some extent, retail and internet demand are increasing, although not enough to offset the losses.
Information forecasters predict it will take at least five years for global wine sales to return to 2019 levels.
But this does something good: More people want to drink organic wine. This is a continuing trend that has increased by almost nine percent annually since 2014, while overall wine consumption has remained almost stable worldwide.
The same astrologer from respected beverage analyst IWRS believes Covid-19 will continue to increase its share as the share of organic wines in the overall market increases sharply, albeit from a small base.
“It’s driven by the health and wellness movement and the impact of elections on the environment and society at large,” said Daniel Metier, head of wine at IWRS, at a recent webinar hosted by Harpers Wine Magazine.
“We see the fragility of our way of life.”
A choice of wines made without chemical mixtures, with an emphasis on protecting and improving soil quality and creating safe conditions in vineyards and cellars, makes more sense.
Another speaker at the Harpers debate predicted: “People will think about price if they don’t buy organic produce.”
The UK is one of the top five countries consuming organic wine, but there is still a long way to go to capturing Swedish joy – about 22% of all wine sold there is organic (still not 3 percent globally).
Nowadays there is no need to compromise when buying organic wine – when taste is being sacrificed for a long time ago, both at a lower price and at a higher price. Search for “organic wines” on supplier websites like Sainsbury’s or Berry Bros & Rudd, or call a professional like Vintage Roots and you’ll be spoiled for choice, both in style and place of origin.
There are organic winemakers all over the world, though Europe has taken its path – in less likely places like the Alsace and the Loire Valley, even humid England, and the dry plains of Castile or the lava-filled slopes of Mount Etna.
As sales increase, more producers will change. “It costs more at first,” says Juan Pablo Murgia, chief winemaker at Argento’s organic bodega in Argentina.
“But over time the health of the vineyard will improve and it will produce more year after year – the opposite of what happens with non-organic vines.”