Understanding Natural Wines

by Samuel Cogliati

Possibilia Editore

Organic, biodynamic, “naked”, “free”… What is “natural” wine? One, all or none of these things? Here’s a quick, short guide to figure it out.

Natural wine: an increasingly used and widespread expres- sion, and a product with growing trade success. However, without relevant legislation, many doubts still persist, be- ginning with the definition itself, which is not yet recog- nized legally. After the introduction of the controversial EU legislation on organic wine (2012), raising awareness on this subject has become even more imperative. When it comes to wine, “organic” and “natural” are not freely in- terchangeable, far from it in fact! This book gives a concise overview of the natural wine scene, clarifying when a wine can be legitimately considered “natural”.

Publisher, writer and wine evangelist, Samuel Cogliati was born in Lyon (France) in 1976. Editor and translator of sev- eral books about wine, he is also the author of many of them, including Champagne – Il sogno fragile, Possibilia Editore (2013), translated in French (winner of the Gourmand Wine Book Award 2014).


Table of contents
1. Define and recognize natural wine
2. Organic farming: a primary option
3. The biodynamic method,a step “up”
4. Natural winegrowing: both a consequence and a goal?
5. The heart of the matter: to make high quality and wholesome wine
6. The importance of winemaking
The matter of sulphites
7. The expression of the terroir potential
8. The digestibility of wine
What can be contained in a bottle of wine
9. A peculiar approach to tasting and serving
10. Glossary


Preface

Over 10 years ago, I began to venture out into the world of so-called “natural” wines. It was a relatively new sector in terms of production, and even more so in terms of distribution, circulation and communication. Some winegrowers were unwittingly producing natural wines, as they were not actively claiming their wines possessed this characteristic. This type of wine was also considered unfashionable, and there was no urgency to outline the main details or to grab commercial attention.
After about a decade, natural wines have become popular and trendy, leading to the need to provide them with a definition. This need is for those who buy, drink and sell natural wines. In a not so distant future, the public authorities will probably also be required to monitor and legislate on this topic. So far in fact, neither a national nor Community law exists in this area in Europe. Therefore it is not clear who is authorized to use the adjective natural, which is indeed the focal point of several controversies, litigations and repressive attempts.