Certified Organic Wine Online - Your Questions Answered
Organic, low-intervention wines and ciders are the focus of our vineyard and winery, so if you want to know more or have a question, we’re qualified to help.
Mountford Wines is here to demystify some of the common questions, confusions and curiosities around sustainable wine growing and organic wine. What is organic wine? Will drinking wine containing sulphites give me a headache? How long has your organic vineyard been around? Let’s find out!
Grab a glass of your favourite vino and view our frequently asked questions below.
Brand and Product FAQs
What is organic wine and cider?
Organic wines and ciders are made with organically grown fruit. This means the fruit is grown and produced without the use of synthetic chemicals. Pesticides, fungicides and herbicides used follows strict standards for organic farming. When you see certified ‘organic’ or ‘biodynamic’ on a wine label, it refers to vineyard/winery practices.
Our wine and cider are also processed without synthetic additions, ensuring minimal intervention for a more natural and cleaner product. Because our products are certified organic, our vineyard/orchard/winery is audited every year by a certifying body to cross-check everything and verify our organic status.
Is organic wine preservative-free?
It’s possible to have organic wine that is not preservative-free. Preservative-free wine means that no sulphites are added during the winemaking process. However, for wine to be organic and preservative-free, it must abide by having no sulphites (preservatives) added at any stage.
The end result is a clean, organic wine grown and processed the way nature intended.
Winemakers often use preservatives to stabilise the wine in the bottle. The most common is preservative 220 which is often referred to as ‘sulphites’.
It’s important to note that during the winemaking process, a natural protection for the fermenting wine is released called carbon dioxide (CO2). We use this natural protection in our preservative-free range. With this in mind, a better term for ‘preservative-free wine’ is ‘no preservatives added’ instead.
What do you use in your wines and ciders?
We only use inputs allowed under the certified organic standards code in Australia.
For fungicides, when necessary, we spray the vines with sulphur for powdery mildew, (3-4 times per year). For downy mildew we are allowed to use copper, however, this has not been necessary for several years.
We use no herbicides which are harmful to soil microbiology, instead, we follow a no-till policy. Our fertiliser inputs are seaweed-based foliar sprays, guano, compost and compost tea. A natural fertiliser solution for organic farming that enhances plant and soil health.
Is organic wine better for you?
Yes! But how?
Organic wine has no artificial chemicals added. Naturally, fewer chemicals are better for you - and the environment. Organic winemakers and farmers, like Mountford Wines, work with nature rather than against it to achieve hardier crops and healthier, tastier products.
While drinking organic wine won’t necessarily eliminate a hangover, it is known to give you less of a headache due to having no chemical additives. Conventional wine can have up to 70 added ingredients including dyes, sugars, preservatives and sulphites.
Certified organic wine is better than conventional wine because:
Wine growers work with nature to boost the biodiversity of the vineyard, meaning there is no need to use synthetic chemicals, herbicides and pesticides
It’s produced without all the nasties that harm our environment
The taste and quality are better, as shown statistically in blind tastings. Organic wines are more complex, stronger and purer
You’re less likely to get a bad headache the next day
Are organic wines vegan?
Vegan wine has no animal products in it. You can have organic wine that’s vegan and organic wines that are not.
Winemakers sometimes use fining agents such as fish products, egg whites and milk. We occasionally use our own organic egg whites. Look for the vegan-friendly symbol.
How long does organic wine and cider last?
Organic wine should be consumed within two to three days of opening, on average. The shelf life can be as long as 15 years or more.
With Mountford Wines, our organic wines and ciders age very well. We have seen no premature ageing over the last 30+ years. Our dry land-grown (unirrigated) vines have small crops that concentrate all the goodies that make up the grape.
Our organic vineyard follows a policy of minimal intervention. The less you mess with the vines/wines, the better.
What is a good organic wine to try?
How can I tell if a wine is organic or not?
Check the wine or cider label to see if it’s organic. For certified organic, there must be a certifying logo on the label relevant to the location. This logo will also include a certification number. You can also dig deeper by visiting the winemaker’s website which should have the relevant information and a certified logo. Ideally, this is displayed clearly on the home and about pages.
There are also wines that are organic, but not certified. Many winemakers aren’t certified organic despite using 100% organic farming. This can be because of the added costs and commitments of the certification process (which is challenging for small producers), or they simply want a clean label.
Our Mountford Wines products are certified by NASAA, which is an internationally recognised certification body for organic products made in Australia.
How long has your organic vineyard been in the Pemberton wine region?
We purchased the land in 1986 and planted the vineyard in 1987, after choosing the area for its cool climate, rich soil and ideal topography.
Today, Mountford Wines is one of Pemberton’s oldest wineries and Tangletoe was the first cidery in Western Australia. Our family-owned and operated vineyard embodies our renewable philosophies and combines organic wine science with sustainable living.
How were the cellar door and winery built?
The award-winning cellar door and winery were built by hand between 1992 and 1994. We constructed the building from mud brick and recycled timber sourced onsite or locally.
At Mountford Wines, we have always recycled. The big beams in the cellar door were from the disused mill in Nyamup and we milled the window frames from old sleepers. The window lintels were found on a bonfire stack.
The bar, tables and staircase leading to the art gallery were salvaged from an old timber tree that had been badly burnt near the winery. The large Karri rafters were milled by a local farmer from his woodland. So much was found by just fossicking around! Blackbutt handrails, reject Jarrah floor and cane from basket weavers in Northcliffe have also been repurposed into our cosy hobbit-like cellar door.
Who built the cellar door and winery?
Many hands were involved in the construction of the building. It was a collaborative affair with friends and family all pitching in. Our winemaker Andrew Mountford would make three hundred bricks a day! Some customers have asked how many bricks are in the building. Andrew always responds with “I don’t know how many, but I know the name of every one!
Orders and Delivery FAQs
Do you have a shop I can visit?
Yes. Why not drop in and see us for informative tastings, breathtaking views and the Mountford family hospitality? Our cellar door is open Monday to Friday for tastings and sales 10 am to 4 pm, and 7 days a week during the school holidays. We are located on Bamess Road in Pemberton, Western Australia.
What are the delivery arrangements and costs?
We deliver Australia-wide and ship products with Australia Post. Delivery costs are subject to change without notice.
The average costs are:
$15 - Perth City
$35 - Interstate City
Country rates are variable, however, all delivery costs are calculated on the shop page when ordering. You can preview the specific cost to your address before committing to the purchase.
See our delivery page for more information.
Do you have a returns and exchange policy?
Yes. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please return it to us and we’ll be happy to exchange or refund you. We 100% back the quality and taste of our products.
Can I order over the phone?
Yes, call us on +61 8 9776 1345 and we’ll be happy to help.
What are the payment options?
You can pay with credit, debit card and cash at our cellar door, and credit card for online purchases.
Can I buy an online wine gift card?
Yes. If you’re unsure what to pick, purchase a wine gift card for your friend or loved one (or yourself) instead. Our gift cards can be used in-store or online. Simply choose the amount and write a personalised message from our gift card page. Minimum amount is $25.
We also have a handy gift guide for wine and cider lovers for more inspiration.