Finally, perhaps a definition of natural wine is in progress and that can become universally valid. The organization “Syndicat de défense du vin nature” in Angers, France, has developed a definition to produce natural wine, how it should be controlled and, not least, a label has been defined. This type of wine has so far been unregulated and undefined and the organization believes that it is now important to quickly get to a definition as many forgeries are starting to emerge. The wine type is called “Vin méthode Nature” and this concept now has been validated by the French DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression).
In short, a “Vin méthode Nature” are produced from organic grapes harvested manually and in the vinification no additives or “oenological corrections” are allowed. Regarding sulphur, there are two classes; without added sulphur and wines with a smaller added amount.
More details from the charter:
– Grapes from ecologically certified cultivation , or a vineyard that is at least during the second year of conversion to organic cultivation
– Manual harvest
– Vinification only with “indigenous” yeast (naturally occurring yeast)
– No additives
– The grapes must not be intentionally modified
– No use of “brutal and traumatic physical techniques” (reverse osmosis, filtrations, tangential filtration, flash pasteurization, thermovinification or the like)
– No addition of sulphur before or after fermentation, or a minor adjustment with SO2 <30 mg /l before bottling.
– Put the “Vin méthode Nature” label on the bottle
Compliance checks include:
– Random check: 1% per year
– Checking and sampling on site, which is carried out by a certification body
– An analysis, the current wines (sulphur, residues of synthetic pesticides, etc.)
– The traceability documents
“So far, we have about fifty growers who follow the approach,” says organization’s President Jacques Carroget and they hope to have 500 winegrowers within five years. “70 wines of vintage in 2019 is already having to be certified”.
A working group should start working with the INAO, but it will take many years before this private initiative may become an INAO regulation, for a common appellation take such work between 10 and 15 years!
Provence Related Information:
For those of you who are, or in today’s Corona times will be, on the French Riviera and is interested in natural wines, I can recommend the caviste “La Part des Anges” in Nice that by the magazine La Revue du Vin de France was appointed 2020 French caviste, thanks in large part to the natural wines they have.
The same newspaper appointed also Dominique Hauvette, Domaine Hauvette in Les Baux de Provence, to the 2020 French winemaker, she produces stunning natural wines in all three colours.