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Natural wines get definition and commitments

By Vitisphere February 13, 2020
Natural wines get definition and commitments
“Our charter prompts three types of reaction from winegrowers: “It gets on my nerves”, “I have things to hide” and “OK, we have to take the plunge, this is the way of the world”, commented Jacques Carroget on 3 February in Angers. - crédit photo : Alexandre Abellan

efining and establishing a framework for natural wines is something of a tall order, but those behind the initiative hope to rapidly remove the ambiguities within the category. “Our aim is that when consumers uncork a bottle of natural wine, they will actually get natural wine”, said Jacques Carroget, chairman of the Nature'l wine association, which held its AGM on 3 February 2020 during the Loire wine fair (Angers).

Launched in September 2019, plans to regulate natural wine have flourished. Whilst still in its infancy, the movement has been able to fine-tune its project in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) and trading standards. The organisations put forward a name compatible with current European regulations: ‘vin méthode nature’ (the term ‘vin nature’ or natural wine is illegal). Two descriptors can be appended to the ‘natural method wine’ logos: the first is ‘with no added sulphites’ (for sulphite concentrations below 10 mg/l) and the second ‘less than 30 mg/l of added sulphites’.

Commitment charter

To be able to display these distinctive logos on labelling, winegrowers and wineries must comply with the association’s charter. The charter requires that the natural wines come from a property committed to organic farming (organic certification, or second year of organic conversion, or compliance with the private charter Nature et Progrès); from vineyards harvested by hand (so that human input is ensured); from must with no inputs, filtration or addition of yeast (wild ferments are required); and from tanks where no sulphites are added during fermentation, although amounts up to 30 mg/l SO2 can be added before bottling.




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