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Old 09-05-2007, 12:56 PM posted to,rec.crafts.winemaking,
Joe Sallustio Joe Sallustio is offline
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Default 'Natural wine' ?

This thread cross posted to rec.crafts.winemaking; from a winemaking
standpoint I'm not sure I followed the logic of natural wines when the
weather doesn't cooperate with the vineyard. In your definitions it
said natural wines contained no added acids so I'm wondering how they
will pull this off in hot years. Grapes are finicky, at the small
amount of sulfite you are stating this wine may contain the longevity
of the wine might depend on acidity. Lower acid wines may go off on
you quicker than higher acid wines.

I applaud your efforts; I'm big on minimal intervention myself but do
use acids and sulfites when the raw materials call for them. I don't
own my own vineyard. This position on acids seems to limit your
growers to very predictable climates and very predictable vines. I'm
not saying it's impossible, just harder. They will probably be
blending wines of varied acid levels due to ripeness which may work
out very well on some varieties; less well with others. They will be
less apt to pick a whole vineyard at once also, just picking areas at
optimum ripeness. None of that is bad, it's actually great for the
wine. You just need a lot more intervention in the vineyard, that is
I thought this was a biodynamic thread originally, I see it's not.


On May 9, 3:05 am, wrote:
http://www.morethanorganic.computsquite a good case for the
difference between 'natural' and 'organic' wines, but I can't help
feeling it's just smart way of selling their product.

We're not yet selling a product, although we do intend to start to
start importing later this year. At the moment the site is purely
informational. You can find our position on 'natural wine' as a term
in the section 'Wine terminology' (

Obviously, we don't agree with the 'vinegar' argument, principallcan given my starting point, you are trying to get your grapes right
because, as Joe Dressner points out, there is a group of winemakers
within France who describe themselves in this way, as well as cavistes
and restaurants who specialise in 'vin naturel'. They even have a
website ( We need a way to describe
these wines in English and 'natural wine' seems like the most sensible
translation. I suppose another option would be to adopt the French
term. Dressner himself prefers 'real wine' I think.

The other reason the term is useful, within the EU at least, is the
mess the law is currently in over organic and biodynamic wine.
Winemakers have effectively been forced to find an alternative because
the term 'organic wine' is illegal and the term 'wine made from
organically grown grapes' is not strict enough. There are plenty of
wines made industrially from organically grown grapes.

A bigger problem is agreeing exactly what qualifies as 'natural wine'.
Until that's done, you can't get a system of certfication running. Our
attempt at a definition is here (
definition-of-natural-wine) but it should be seen as just that, an
attempt. There's another one, fairly similar, on wikipedia (http://

Incidentally, how did you find morethanorganic ? It's only about a
month old and is still teething really. Nor is it set in stone, so any
feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Oliver Morgan