Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've been reading about the chemical in plastics called BPA and learned that this plastic is sometimes used to line the casks that are used to store wine (I think that's how it was used).
For this reason apparently wine has a very high level of this chemical that they now feel is a carcinogen. Do you know if the organic wines are stored differently? Or have your wines been tested for this chemical? I've ordered your wines in the past, and I'd certainly want to order even more if I could confirm that yours are BPA-free.
Thank you!
Hi Donna,

To my knowledge wine containers are made of
Wood (oak, sweet chestnut)
Stainless steel
Steel or concrete covered with a special polymer paint suited for food
Fiberglass (epoxy resin + glass fibers)
This is what is used and accepted for organic wines
I have seen small containers of plastic used for carrying wine, not storing it. It is always an accepted material for alcohol products.

Now with advanced knowledge basically there is no safe container as even glass could contain lead residues and stainless containers have electric charges creating problems of their own. It's just a matter of how hard you want to look into something to find its drawbacks! You've got to own a very high level degree of chemistry and biochemistry to inquire about the thousands different products coming out, provided you have the time and money to do the proper research. It is a maddening search! All I can say is that our producers and all organic ones for sure are particularly concerned and attentive to this kind of thing on top of having stringent regulations.
It's a crazy world and we can only aim for a reasonable amount of risk without turning completely paranoid! There is no reason why this BPA would show up in our wines but I would not be able to give you a certificate for that!


Dr Mic


Reporting said...

not a straight answer. I wonder why this person wouldn't give you a straight answer. Is it because he doesn't know, or because he doesn't want you to know? I've contacted Banrock Station (Western Australia) about their wines and they've said they only use stainless steel containers and that there should be no BPA in their wines. They are not organic however.

Michel & Veronique said...

Well, the straight answer is: I have never heard of this chemical before and I have no idea about its possible use. Since I know what IS being used by my producers I deem it extremely unlikely that any of it would be present in our wines. However only a fine analysis would give you a scientific answer. You are welcome to finance that research and I can do it for you.

. said...

Surprising that you choose to create organic wines, yet are amazingly unsophisticated about the reasons behind the organic movement-- namely: toxic chemicals.

Your original response outlined various types of vats (but you didn't say what's used by your producers!)

I can tell you after a mere ten minutes research that the "special polymer paint" you mention is one of the offenders. Possibly the fiberglass as well. There is every reason this BPA would show up in your wines if you are using these products.

I would think, if you really cared, you would do some immediate research. And then rectify the problem so that you could tout the fact that you're free of it.

Or maybe you're just the kind of people who "got into the organic thing" because you see it as a place where you hope you can make a killing. If that's the case it won't happen because readers (and wine drinkers) like Donna will see through you.

Michel & Veronique said...

Using scorn in comments is not really appropriate nor useful on top of being disgraceful. You know who I am and I don't know you are, a bit skewed for a conversation!

Fortunately your appreciation is so inexact that I can only smile. Oh well!

My response was indeed a general one as it would be rather long to detail what each of my 25 producers use. Moreover this is constantly changing since their needs for more space and new tools evolves every year. In most cases you will find different sorts of vats in a cellar because each one has its own uses, its own pluses and minuses. As a winemaker you need a lot of containers like a cook does!

Obviously you have not been in their shoes with hard choices to make everyday to survive. I am ok to check the validity of your remark but it is one of hundreds of problems a wine maker has to manage. Claims and counter claims are being made constantly under the "scientific" banner. Beware of being dragged one way or the other!

I just have to laugh at your last comment because we have launched the organic wine movement in this country 30 years ago and certainly never made a killing out of it! We've spent so much time educating people instead of selling wine that we are closer to extinction than expansion. So your comment is quite unfortunate. We don't need enemies from the inside when the world is full of them.