Wine and sulphites, a solution looms

By Tobias Webb

One of my stock questions when I meet winemakers is about sulphites. Unlike yeasts, or climate change concerns, or organics, they don’t like to talk about sulphites.

Almost all will gloss over the topic and move on as fast as they can.

I can guess why.

It’s not that sulphites are bad for most people, or even that there are a lot of them in wine (not compared to dried fruit), it’s just, I would guess, that it feels like the winemaker is somehow adulterating the wine.

Sulphites are an additive, not a necessary evil but definitely a necessary preservative for most winemakers except those in the ‘natural’ camp.

Organic winemakers such as Paul Gordon, interviewed in my last post, use them too, but minimally. has an interesting page about them. It’s here. It seems credible to me from what I have read from other sources. Their infographic really helps you put sulphites in wine into perspective.

But some people do have a problem with sulphites. A reaction of sorts. Two friends of mine do, so they seek out low sulphur wines.

Now, an inventor has come up with a solution that may broaden their average choices.

Check out

I heard about it on the excellent UK wine show podcast.

There’s also a Kickstarter campaign so you can support its development. Let’s hope it works.

About the author

Tobias Webb

Toby Webb is co-founder of Sustainable Wine. He is also founder of Innovation Forum, a leading platform for change in sustainable supply chains. He has spent 20+ years working in business and sustainability and has spent ten years teaching the subject at various London universities. He advises a number of companies large and small on sustainability. Businesses he has worked with include Patagonia, Interface, Bayer, SOK Group, Boots/Walgreens, Metro, Unilever, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser, Sainsbury’s, and many others. He co-authored the UK’s national CSR strategy for David Cameron from 2006-10. He has been organising events, advising, teaching writing, blogging and podcasting on sustainable business since 2001. His (non-wine) blog is at