Natural Merchants LLC, based in Grants Pass, Ore., and Cartagena, Spain, announces the Non-GMO Project Verification of its core portfolio wines, the first wines imported from Europe to obtain the verification. Natural Merchants works with family-owned wineries throughout Europe to produce USDA Certified Organic No Sulfites Added Wines, as well as wines Made with Organically Grown Grapes. Five of the winery partners, located in Italy, Spain, Austria, France and Greece are participating in the Non-GMO Project Verification.
“Consumer demand for non-GMO products has increased dramatically in the United States, as an estimated 80 percent of all packaged goods are now genetically engineered,” says Edward Field, President of Natural Merchants. “The demand flows over into wine and other alcoholic beverages and we are delighted to offer the first ever wines from Europe to be Non-GMO Project Verified.”
The 29 wines that are Non-GMO Project Verified include:
- Italy-La Cantina Pizzolato – USDA-certified organic no sulfites added Merlot, Cabernet, Rosso Convento and Prosecco; Pizzolato Fields Prosecco, Pizzolato Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Stefany Prosecco, Frederik Spumante, Merlot and Cabernet
- Spain-Bodegas Iranzo USDA-certified organic no sulfites added Spartico; Tarantas Tempranillo Crianza; Tarantas Bobal Rosé, Sparkling Rose and Sparkling White; VERTVS Tempranillo Crianza, Tempranillo Joven, Tempranillo/Cabernet and Bobal Rosé
- Austria-Biokult – Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Noir/Zweigelt Red, Zweigelt Rosé, and Rosé Secco
- France-Vignobles Raymond – Les Hauts de Lagarde Rouge and Blanc, USDA certified organic no sulfites added Le Petit du Chateau de Lagarde
- Greece-Domaine Gioulis – Sofos Red and White
The verification is granted by the Non-GMO Project, a not-for-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.
Non-GMO Project Verified status indicates that the brands adhere to consensus-based best practices for avoidance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are organisms whose natural genetic material has been altered through engineering techniques. Natural Merchants winery partners will proudly display the Non-GMO Project Verified badge on shelf tags so that consumers can easily identify the products.
As consumers continue to seek healthier food options, the concept of genetic modification of ingredients has come into the spotlight. While purchasing certified organic products is a substantial step in working toward a non-GMO diet, organic manufacturers and importers are going the extra step to obtain the Non-GMO Project Seal to give consumers additional peace of mind.
All Natural Merchants winery partners utilize only indigenous “wild” yeast fermentations in their wines, and do not “inoculate” the wines with the addition of yeast during production. Indigenous yeast fermentation starts by itself when wild yeast strains—originating in the vineyard—start fermenting. Only Bentonite clay, a naturally occurring mineral, is used as a fining agent. Both preclude any possible contamination by GMO sources and also make the wines vegan friendly.
Organic and natural foods grocer Whole Foods Market has announced that all products in their U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain GMOs by 2018. Twelve of the core wines that are Non-GMO Project Verified are currently available in Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.