AUSTIN, TX (January 10, 2012) – This year, America sipped past France to become the largest wine-consuming nation, as wine enthusiasts are increasingly embracing a lifestyle with wine and food. At Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), shoppers are not only trying new varieties, but they are also increasingly turning to organic wines with no sulfites added (NSA). To meet this demand, the company is expanding its offerings and is now the only national retailer to carry the first USDA Certified Organic NSA wines from Italy and Spain.
Whole Foods Market now carries wines from Bodegas Iranzo, Spain’s oldest estate-bottled winery, and La Cantina Pizzolato, Italy’s top-selling organic winery. Specifically, Whole Foods Market stocks Spartico Organic Tempranillo from Bodegas Iranzo, and La Cantina Pizzolato Organic Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rosso Convento, all priced under $13.
“We are thrilled to add these quality Italian and Spanish wines to our line-up of domestic organic wines, providing shoppers with the best selection of organic NSA wines available at a retail supermarket,” said Geof Ryan, national wine buyer for Whole Foods Market. “We see more and more interest in these wines from wine enthusiasts who believe NSA wines provide the most pure expression of the grape and from those who have sulfite sensitivities or allergies.”
Depending on the store, approximately 10 to 20 wines of the wines on Whole Foods Market shelves are organic NSA wines. Domestic producers offering these wines at Whole Foods Market include Roulé Rouge from northern California, which makes a red table wine, and Frey Vineyards from Mendocino County, which produces such wines as an Organic Red, White and Rosé as well as true varietals like Organic Chardonnay and Petite Syrah.
“The quality of organic wines improves every year, and these wines from Italy and Spain are a testament to the traditional artisan winemaking craft passed on for generations,” said Ryan. Since 1994, Bodegas Iranzo has exclusively produced wine from organically grown grapes and was one of the first wine producers in Spain to be USDA National Organic Program-certified organic.
Tasting notes for the imported NSA wines include:
Spartico Organic Tempranillo – this fruity, medium-bodied violet black wine has smoky, salty nut aromas with sugared berry sweetness and tartness with a firm powdery tannin finish.
La Cantina Pizzolato Organic Merlot – with aromas of smoked nuts and spicy raspberries, this deep ruby red is a dry, yet fruity medium bodied wine with good balance.
La Cantina Pizzolato Organic Cabernet Sauvignon – this dry, medium-to-full bodied wine has aromas of honey-roasted pineapple and roasted green pepper, with hints of tangy cranberry notes.
La Cantina Organic Rosso Convento – a medium-bodied blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Convento has pleasant aromas of black raspberry and plums, with baked apple and spice notes, with a toasty cedar finish.
Wine labeled as “organic wine” must be made from organically grown grapes and cannot have any added sulfites. The wine may have naturally occurring sulfites, but the total sulfite level must be less than 10 parts per million. Wines with added sulfites that total more than 10 parts per million must include the statement “contains sulfites.” Wines labeled as “made from organically grown grapes” may have added sulfites.