The Role of Sulphites in Winemaking

Sulphites serve as effective agents for averting browning or discolouration in a variety of foods, including baked goods, condiments, potatoes, and shrimp. These chemicals find notable application in preserving the light hues of dried fruits such as apricots after the drying process. Additionally, sulphites are utilised by winemakers to preserve freshness and prevent oxidation in wine production. During the 1970s and 1980s, the utilisation of sulphites as food preservatives significantly increased, paralleled by a rise in the number of individuals experiencing adverse reactions.

Nevertheless, the presence of sulphites does not automatically disqualify a bottle from being categorised as a natural wine. In natural wine circles, modest quantities of sulphites, typically ranging from 10 to 40 mg per liter, are generally considered an acceptable level of preservative for addition during the bottling phase. In contrast, conventional wines often incorporate much higher levels of sulphites, a practice that some natural wine enthusiasts believe dulls the final product's flavour. The most pristine form of wine—naturally fermented grape juice without any added sulphites—is often referred to as 'zero-zero,' denoting the absence of any additives