The popularity of Natural, Organic and Biodynamic wines has been growing in recent years, in part due to the global environmental issues that the world is facing. In the search for something greener and more sustainable, we tend to buy products that have less environmental impact. Therefore, conscious agricultural practices are becoming more and more widespread, not least in the world of wine.
You will find different practices and official certificates all around the world, as well as innumerable personal ideologies that change from winery to winery and from region to region. Even so, many of us are still wondering what exactly these practices entail. For that reason, we decided to give you some simple definitions and introduce you to some of the wineries following different sustainable practices.
“Natural wine is not new; it is what wine always was, and yet, somehow today it has become a rarity. It is a tiny drop in the ocean, but oh my, what a drop.” – Isabelle Legeron¹
As Isabelle says, “It is what wine always was…” and yes when we talk about natural wine, we should think of wine in its purest form: fermented grape juice with no additives. Even though natural wine seems to be a recent trend, it is essentially nothing new. People have been making wine without additives for thousands of years.
What we mean with ‘natural wines’ is that in the production of the wine, winemakers don’t use pesticides or herbicides, grapes are handpicked without using machinery and natural yeast is used for fermentation. And Voilà! Wine finds its own way without adding anything that It did not have naturally. Natural wine might, however, contain sulfites in a tiny amount for preserving and stabilizing wine or no sulfites at all. It is important to note though, that even sulfites are a naturally occurring by-product of any natural winemaking process.
The production of natural wine still doesn’t have a legal framework in a lot of countries, and there is an informal general rule in the community about what is accepted and what is not. When organic wines have a strictly defined legal framework for the cultivation of grapes as well as the winemaking process.