Organic, biodynamic and traditional wineries

Organic, biodynamic and traditional wineries

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Let's clarify what happens in the cellars of organic and natural wine producers

What is stated on the labels of the bottles of wine.

Is an organic wine a natural wine?
There's a lot of confusion and the law doesn't bring clarity.
In fact, wine is a very special food product. It seems that European law considers it natural regardless of what we producers could put in it.

Organic, biodynamic and traditional wineries

On the back label we only have to write "contains sulfites" and peace will reign supreme throughout the ancient continent. It seems that at least on the specifications to be reported on the bottle of wine, Europe is united.
And then if the winemaker uses added yeast for fermentation, yeast nutrients, acidity correctors, stabilizers, added tannins, gum arabic, clarifiers or other additives (apart from the fact that the consumer will drink them or not), it's not imposed, nor "politely asked", to write it on the back label.

Does something change in the organic cellar?

Fortunately, it does! But it may not be enough.
All organic and natural wine products have the "Bio" label in the packaging that contains them. This guarantees the consumer the best standards of healthiness of the product. But even in organic wine we could find, for example, added tannins to improve its body. This way, the consumer could drink a full-bodied and interesting wine, being convinced he's drinking a natural wine.

Yeah, natural...

We were talking about organic, isn't it the same thing?
We've come to the point. If you are looking for a natural wine made like it was in the past, either your peasant grandfather is still alive or it will be difficult to have any guarantee, because even in the production of an organic wine, all the above mentioned products are allowed as long as they are certified organic.

Goodbye to: colorants, added tannins and any product to improve the wine

In the past, the chemicals weren't as aggressive as they are now and wine could be made with the yeasts that naturally are present in the grapes.
A natural wine is a wine produced with spontaneous fermentation, i.e. without added yeasts. The fermentations obtained in this way tend to be longer than those induced with added yeasts and the advantage is, in our opinion, a much greater extraction of color from the skins.
Everything you need to make a great wine is present in nature.

It would be easy if it was, but it's not!

Unfortunately, to make wine "like in the old days", you have to work "like in the old days" and therefore roll up your sleeves like our peasant grandfather did "at that time".
A natural wine is first of all the fruit of passion. And this passion is tangible.
Now this information will help you to ask the right questions to the producer you will meet.

The rest we leave to your sensibility, because the certification for “natural wine” doesn't exist, even if the biodynamic one should be part of it.

Roberto Falzari