Organic Tastings

A great wine is one that gives great pleasure.

By Jeff Cox


A great wine is one that gives great pleasure.

The pleasure comes from a wine's tapestry of flavors, lovely aromas, silken mouthfeel, and even its color—in that order. But certainly it's the flavors that deliver the greater part of the pleasure.

We've all heard defenders of conventional agriculture claiming that organic food doesn't taste any better than conventional. Since wine is graded primarily on how it tastes, winemakers—who taste a lot of wine—should have something to say about that claim.

"Organic growing is the only path of grape growing that leads to optimum quality and expression of the land", says John Williams, the winemaker and owner of Frog's Leap winery in the Napa Valley. "That's for the same reasons that a healthy diet and lifestyle make for healthy people. When the soil is healthy, the vines are healthy."


Rob Sinskey, who owns Robert Sinskey Vineyards in the Napa Valley, says one goal in going organic 2 decades ago was "to make better wine. We felt that the only way to create a wine that was true to the region, and not just a bland commercial commodity, was to work with the rhythms of nature." Has it worked?