Organic, Natural or Biodynamic? What the hell is it all about?


Organic, Natural or Biodynamic? What the hell is it all about?

Natural wine what the hellI hear you.

What is this?

Organic, Biodynamic, Natural: is it not all the same?

One thing is for sure, these wines are better for health!!

Yes, you’re right.

But, is that all?

Nope.

These three words characterize three different kinds of wine.

But before going any further, you have to understand this: making wine starts in the vineyard. If you have good grapes, it will make it easier for you to make good wine. Okay?

Organic

This most common one means that they’re not using any artificial chemical product like pesticides in the vineyard, just Sulphur and copper. These are natural products to protect and preserve your vine to grow well.

Each production area has its own rules. For example, in Europe it is forbidden to call your wine “organic.” You have to write on the label “wine made from organic grapes,” which is the truth by the way.

In the US, a wine named “organic” cannot contain added sulfites. Sulfites help with stabilizing and preserving your wine so many wineries add them before bottling, selling and shipping their wines worldwide.

Organic certification is complex and it is hard to obtain. Some wineries have it technically but don’t have the certification because of this.

Biodynamic

This one is the high-class range of this category. I like to call it the “spiritual way of making wine with a touch of homeopathy.”

This process of making wine comes from a spiritual and practical philosophy called anthroposophy, created by Rudolph Steiner at the beginning of the 20th century. For this Swiss philosopher, anthroposophy is the “science of spirit”, which includes understanding the ecological, the energetic, and the spiritual in nature. Biodynamic agriculture looks at the vineyard and winery as an interconnected living system.

In practice, winemakers that are using these principles have to prepare different potions and apply them during all the process of making wine, from the vineyard until the bottling, following a specific timing dictated by the lunar calendar.

Biodynamic certification is controlled internationally by the Demeter association. The grapes used to produce a biodynamic wine have to come from a vineyard certified biodynamic.

Natural

This is the new trend, growing everywhere in the world.

Or, should I say, this is the oldest way of making wine! Our dear ancestors were making this kind of wine.

With natural wines it’s like we’re going back to our roots!

Basically, a natural wine is a wine made in the most natural way.

Fewer additives are added this way. Some producers don’t use them at all.

There is no certification yet.

I believe that the more your wine will be made in the respect of nature with acknowledgement of what you see/observe, the more it will express the purity of the terroir.

That’s why great wines are pretty rare.

Is it clear now? I hope so!!

Go to your favorite wine shop and buy some bottles of these three categories of wines. Taste them and make your own judgement about them!

Remember, wine is fun and is one of life’s great pleasures, so keep it simple and enjoyable.

Cheers,
Valerie Signature

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