Those who buy in supermarkets that offer standardized and organic products know that, in general, organic products are more expensive. This is despite the fact that there is no perceived taste difference between organic products and normal products. Interestingly, although organic wine is available, they tend to be sold for the same price as non-organic wine.
A new study conducted by UCLA researchers found evidence that organic wines taste better. The study was conducted by Magali Delmas, environmental economist at UCLA Anderson School of Management, and Oliver Gergaud, economist at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux, France. The study conducted by the two researchers found that organic wines are considered to be of superior quality by experts.
However, the difference is not just whether the wines came from organic grapes or from conventionally grown grapes. The difference in quality is notable in wines certified as organic by a third-party accreditation service, but not in those self-labeled by a group supported by the French wine industry that encourages conscientious practices. A trio of highly regarded wine guides certified third-party wines on average 6.2% higher than those certified by the industry group.
The researchers based their findings on data collected from 128,182 French wines produced from 1995 to 2015. Wines that have been certified as biodynamic by a third-party association did even better when evaluated by wine experts. Biodynamic wines use methods that time planting, pruning and harvesting to coincide with seasonal and lunar cycles, while integrating animals into a complete ecosystem.
The project scientists say their findings are important because conventionally grown wine grapes use more pesticides than most other crops, putting the health of farm workers, wildlife and surrounding communities at risk. Obtaining third party certification requires inspections and audits to ensure that the product meets the criteria, while the self-labeling organic wine industry association does not.