Organic, Biodynamic, Natural Wine

organic biodynamic, natural wine

Organic, biodynamic, natural wine.

Is this just a fashion, as some people sustain, due to commercial interests? Or is it a phenomenon connected really to the quest for a higher quality and purity of the product, of the wine in our case?

The trend of looking for a more healthy, natural and “eco-friendly” way of living is becoming more and more popular in Europe in the last years. This trend is particularly strong as far as it concerns food and wine. The fact that each year the percentage of wineries passing to organic viticulture is increasing by about 20% is a significant indicator.

These innocent looking words are in the center of fierce debates in the last years that definitely doesn’t help the consumer to orientate better his choice.

Organic wine

This type of wine is the easiest to be defined among the three. Since 2012 European legislation has defined the criteria a wine should meet in order to be defined as organic (directive 203/2012) regulating also the admitted oenolgical practices and preparations. For example, the maximum quantity of sulphites admitted in  organic wine is of 100 mg/l for the reds and of 150 mg/l for the whites.

A wine can be defined as organic only if:

  • In the vineyard: it is produced organic grape, cultivated  without the use of sintethic preparations and GMO
  • In the cellar: in the vinifcation are used only  oenological preparations admitted by the 203/2012 directive, as egg albumine for clarification, yeast for fermentation, sulphites for conservation etc.

Every cellar that aims to operate as organic undergoes certification by the authorized institutions as well as regular monitoring and control in order to be permitted to expose the EU green bio label on its products.

Biodynamic wine

Тhis type of wine is made applying the  biodynamic method,  formulated   in the 20’s by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, founder of the  anthroposophy . According to this method, simply speaking, a winery is being seen as  indivisible organism in which it is necessary to maintain the balance between the single elements (living creations, plants, minerals) basing the organisation of the work in the vineyards and the cellar on the  lunar calendar. The main aim of this approach is to preserve the vitality of the soil and the healthiness of the plants, making in this way unnecessary the use of chemical preparations.

Biodynamic wine, similarly to the organic wine, is being made reducing the use of oenological preparations, but is based on a specific production philosophy.

It is also necessary to mention that in the moment it doesn’t exit a unified reglamentation at a European level regarding biodynamic wine and that there is only one certifying institution operating, Demeter.

Natural wine

The term “natural” is widely used and also widely unclear: in this category enter producers that are neither certified as organic, neither apply a byodinamic method, but are excluding totally (or almost) the use of chemical preparations in the vineyards and in the cellar. This choice can appear at a first glance too radical but in fact nowadays more and more producers are converting into the “natural way”.

The problem with the natural wines comes from the fact that not being certified, one should trust the producers’s word. Nevertheless in the last years were born different associations of natural winemakers that have their own regulations and monitoring and can provide certain guarantees.

Explaining the meaning of all these terms, a question comes out spontaneously: organic, byodynamic and natural wine, does it also mean a better wine!? We are going to talk about this in the next article, as the term “good” when refered to wine is very subjective.

What is your opinion about organic, biodynamic, natural wine? , what experience do you have with these types of wine?

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