Natural Wine Explained
The term “natural wine” is often thrown around, but no formal definition or certification for it exists anywhere in the world.
Our vision of natural wine is based on a number of characteristics to guarantee the quality and the authenticity of the final product:
– Only organic grapes are used
– Grapes are hand-harvested
– Fermented with indigenous yeast
– No additives
– No modification to the constitution of the grape
– No ‘traumatic’ techniques used, such as reverse osmosis, filtrations, flash pasteurisation or thermovinification
– No added sulfites or a maximum 30mg/l of SO2
BIODYNAMIC | ORGANIC | NATURAL WINE
A biodynamic wine is made from biodynamic grape culture (untreated vines, without herbicide on the soil). Winemakers use flora, fauna, the moon or, for example, herbal infusions to maintain their estate. There are no regulations for biodynamic wine, but Demeter, Biodyvin and Ecocert, are important certifiers who govern this type of production in the wine world.
Organic Wine came into ‘official’ existence in 2012. It’s the process where wine is obtained from untreated vines, without herbicide being used in the soil. Organic wine does allow for several products to be used in the stabilisation of the wine during vinification. However, there is a movement for organic winemakers to reduce wine additives.
Natural winemaking is going beyond the organic/ biodynamic certification. It is a philosophy that a winemaker adopts to work as harmoniously with nature in his vineyard giving his wines a unique personality and character.
As Sylvere Trichard from Domaine de Selene in Beaujolais, France explains –
“Do not try to do in the cellar what you do not do in the vineyard. All my work as a winegrower is based on this sentence. Small yields, organic farming with beautiful grapes, the wine making is done all alone: no yeasting, no sulfites, the ageing is done without sulfites either. The goal is to obtain more digestible, light and lively wines. All to respect my environment, as well as the consumer. With this approach, I feel more a wine craftsman (or artisan of the wine) than a farmer.”