What are sulfites?

What are sulfites?

Due to a change of the EU food labeling directive for wine and sparkling wine in the year 2005 all potential allergens must be declared on the label. Therefore you will find the term "Enthält Sulfite / Contains Sulfites" on the label.

Sulfur has been used in the winemaking process since the ancient Greeks. The sulfurization of wines during vinification takes place via gas or powder form.

Sulfur positively affects the flavor of the wine itself and the sulfurization is an antimicrobial and antioxidative process to protect the wine from harmful bacteria and mold. In addition, sulfur prevents negative changes in color (browning), gustatory aging and oxidation.

What happens with the sulfites in the body?

Sulfur compounds are present in all plants and animals and have many different functions. When drinking wine sulfur dioxide is absorbed by the stomach and readily degraded by certain enzymes in the body.

The body of a normal grown-up  produces about 3000 milligrams of sulfur dioxide as a metabolite by the regular daily ingestion.

This amount of sulfur is many times higher than that supplied by the wine. The sulfur dioxide is oxidized to sulfate and excreted. There are governmental limits for the use of sulfur in wine. As a result of today´s technological development (gentle press, cool fermentation, etc.), the quantities of sulfur used in the wine are not even close to the governmental limits.