On sulphur

On the back label of some of our wines you will find the statement ‘does not contain added sulphur’.  This information, along with the other indications on the label, is intended to convey that this wine has been made using exclusively the single ingredient of the grapes from our vineyards.

However, on the back label you will also read ‘contains sulphites’.

These two pieces of information could generate some confusion and therefore an explanation is required to bring some clarity on the matter of sulphur and the legislation that controls the contents of wine.

Sulphur is a substance which develops naturally during the process of fermentation of the must.  In the same way, the fermentation that takes place in dough produces ethyl alcohol (drinking alcohol) and carbon dioxide, i.e., in the natural course of things.

The law requires the producer to add the statement ‘contains sulphites’ when the total sulphur content in wine is equal to or more than 10mg per litre.  In our wines it can happen therefore that the total sulphur developed in the natural process of fermentation exceeds the limit of 10mg per litre, if not by much.  There is nothing wrong in this, but we have to consider that the legal limit for the total sulphur content in wines is much higher: 210mg per litre in white wines, 160 mg for the reds and up to 260mg for wines made from semi-dried grapes (passiti).

There is absolutely no obligation to indicate the quantity of dissolved sulphur in each wine. From a legal point of view there is no difference between a wine with 10mg of sulphur per litre and one with 260mg.  But perhaps for our bodies there is a difference.