by Terence Baker | April 01, 2006

Coturri Estate Vineyard

Vines and vistas: The Coturri Estate Vineyard

A typical organic wine tasting by New York City-based expert Evan Spingarn will last two hours and will include up to six courses, each paired with wine. “In the last three years, I noticed a rise in interest in these wines,” he says, “mirroring an interest in slow-food techniques and restaurants featuring local produce.”
    What is meant by organic varies, Spingarn explains, but it implies a wine made from organically grown grapes and vinified without chemical treatments or additives such as sugar, alcohol and enzymes. “Ideally native yeasts, rather than laboratory strains, are used to ferment the must [i.e., the grape juice],” says Spingarn.
    “Organic wines,” he adds, “tend to come from smaller wineries, where the grapes they use come from their own vines and not from outside.”
    The organic wineries Spingarn recommends investigating include the French labels Domaine du Vissoux, Albert Mann and Nicolas Joly (which, according to Spingarn, is where the trend in organic wine began), as well as those from California, Coturri and Porter Creek.
    Organic-wine distributors include Louis/Dressner (, Kermit Lynch ( and David Bowler (, all based in the United States.
    For more information, check out The Ultimate Wine Lover’s Guide 2006 (Sterling, $14.95;, written by Spingarn with Fred DuBose. To book Spingarn for a wine event, send an e-mail to