ORGANIC – BIODYNAMIC – NATURAL – VEGAN WINE – NO SULPHITES ADDED… KESACO?

Does natural matters?

For me, yes, for many reasons ecology, health, sustainability but also taste!

However, when we speak about “natural” wine, it has many names often confusing.

What is the difference about all of them?

And how does it taste?

Let’ see..

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1/ Why?

Wine is amazing. Wine is like a human body and is sensitive to many factors such as conservation factors, temperature, etc. It evolves with time. You can’t master of wine, you will always be surprised and learn something new about it. Wine is from nature and highlighted by human.

Sometimes (and especially before and only in some places), wine can become a cake recipe with enhanced flavored yeast, wood chips macerated into the wine to give some additional woody flavors, adjust mouth feel sensation or sugar level.

Hopefully we see more and more regulations. There is also increasing awareness and work from winemakers and the whole industry too. Fantastic work is made.

Consumers are eager to know what they consume, and even more now with Covid impact.

2/ Organic wine

How do you define an organic vegetable? Answer: the vegetable is grown without pesticides, chemical or fungicides.

Same for grapes but not the wine.

Hence an organic wine is made with organic grapes. However, a few chemical -strictly regulated- are allowed and in specific doses during the winemaking process.

Sulphites are allowed but in lower amount than regular wine: 100mg /liter is allowed versus 160mg /liter for the regular ones.

Note about all those labels certification. Regulations might change according to countries. The two labels on the pictures are the most known, for USA and European Union.

3/ Biodynamic wine

Very fascinating one! Bioynamic is a farming method believing in soil biodiversity & life. It is coming from Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher, ideas back in the 1920’s.

Biodynamic farming considers that quality food can only be produced on healthy land. It promotes greater soil biodiversity, strengthen plant health. There is also some esoteric approach as it takes into account seasonal and cosmic rhythms.

This method is different from others as it is a preventive one. We add natural preparations proactively to get healthy soils and grapes. All of this applies also during the winemaking process with natural products only.

Sulphites are allowed but in lower amount: 70mg /liter.

The most known label certification is the “Demeter” one from European Union.

4/ Natural or Low Intervention wine

 It does not exist 100% “natural” wine so it is better to speak about Low intervention ones.

The growing of the grapes is made under organic or biodynamic method. There are no entrants & low intervention during winemaking.

Sulphites are allowed but in a very low amount: 11mg /liter. – but it is often needed if you want to travel the bottles around the world).

Recently a new certification has finally been created in France to regulate it. It is called “Vin Methode Nature”.

5/ Vegan wine

Vegan certification guaranties wines for which no animal or animal product has been used ( no egg whites, gelatin, fish oil, and casein).

6/ No sulphites added wine

Often mentioned as headache cause by many…

This label guaranties that no sulphites are added during winemaking or breeding.

However, please note that it is mentioned “added into the wine” because a few sulphites are naturally presents into the grape.

7/ HEV (HVE in French) High Environmental Value wine

This concerns in France winemakers with “reasoned” approach to their work. It promotes good, environmentally friendly practices across three levels, the third one being the highest level of certification.

8/ Taste

So what about the taste?

Are organic wines better?

For me, organic wines are juicier, with stronger fruit aromas. Acidity is also more present because it has less chemicals covering the taste. Overall they are tastier and elegant.

9/ Labels

You can refer to the label icon to recognize each wine category. Some can have many certifications for example, being organic and vegan.

However, in some countries, finding it is harder than others. For example, in China, there are always 2 labels, the original one and the Chinese translated one often put on top of the original one. The most important challenge is that the term “organic (有机)” is not translated into the Chinese label. We can still see the label icons but not all the time…

So taste & enjoy! Cheers!

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