What is actually the difference between wines that are produced organically, bio dynamically or sustainably? And what is vin naturel (natural wine)? We will list it for you.
Organic farmers do not use fertilizers and chemical pesticides against fungi and pests. The only exceptions to this are sulfur and copper sulfate. Copper is in a mixture of copper sulphate with some lime and water (Bordeaux porridge) that is widely used in both organic and conventional vineyards because it is the only remedy for the stubborn fungus mildew. Sulfur also kills microorganisms that can spoil the wine labels.
Sulfur or sulphite binds with oxygen, which prevents the wine from oxidizing. Sulfur also kills microorganisms that can spoil the wine. Wine with sufficient acidity, tannin and alcohol can remain stable with little or even no sulphite (which is rare), provided the grapes are healthy and hygiene in production is optimal. Because of the tannin, this works better with red wine than with white wine.
However, 'No added sulfites' on the wine labels does not mean that the wine is completely sulfur-free. This is because a small amount of 'natural' sulphite is formed during fermentation. Many organic and biodynamic winegrowers are frugal with sulfur. Therefore, keep organic wine in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Yeasts and bacteria cannot become active below 14 ° C.
More or less organic wine
In principle, many wineries work organically, but they afford the freedom to use chemical pesticides if necessary. This falls under the heading 'lutte raisonnée' (reasoned control). There are also quite a few winemakers who do not want to have organic certification because of the bureaucratic hassle that this entails while they do work organically.
Sustainable viticulture, in which the environment and energy savings are central, but the use of chemical pesticides is not necessarily rejected.
Biodynamic wine Biodynamic
viticulture is a philosophy of life in which the material and the spiritual form a unity. Biodynamicists regard the vineyard as a living organism that is energetically linked to the cosmos. The moment of planting, pruning, harvesting and all other actions in the vineyard is determined by the position of the planets.
Strictly speaking, vin naturel (natural wine) is made with no or minimal chemical and technological intervention in the cultivation of the grapes and the making of the wine. It already starts in the vineyard, it is not irrigated with a vin naturel. The wine making process does not use cultured yeast cells or bacteria, only natural ones. No adjustment of the acidity by adding sugars and no flavor additives. Note, this even applies to flavor from oak barrels, bars, chips! Furthermore, there is no or minimal clarification (filtering) of the wine, hence the often somewhat cloudy appearance of the wine. Because of all this, natural wines can differ greatly in taste and appearance per harvest year.
Better quality wines
No fertilizer use lowers the yield and a lower yield per grape plant usually leads to better quality. These organic farmers adapt the type of grape to the terroir and climate of the vineyard and in the wine labels cellar they intervene as little as possible in the natural process of winemaking. The aim is to preserve the original character of the grape and the typicity of the terroir. That is perhaps the most important characteristic of good organic wine, you can taste the origin of the wine. Good organic wine has personality and something to tell.