Natural wine is here to stay. And although the EU has said that there will be no official rules for this category, it does not prevent private groups from setting up their own. As, for example, Vinnatur in Italy (www.vinnatur.org) has done.
Now Sébastien David, winemaker in Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil in the Loire Valley, is trying to find like-minded growers who want to adhere to his proposal for rules for natural wines.
There are no big surprises in the proposal. It requires organic cultivation (but certification is not mandatory!), manual harvest, fermentation only with natural yeast, “no” additives allowed except a maximum of 30 mg of sulphites per litre added at bottling. This must be clearly marked on the label. There will be two types of logos to put on the bottle. Both says Vin Nature and either “<30 mg/l sulphites added” or “no sulphites added”.
In addition, it is prohibited to use “brutal techniques” during vinification, such as filtration (!), flash pasteurisation, reverse osmosis and thermo-vinification. We guess that temperature control during the fermentation is allowed, and no doubt spraying in the vineyard with copper and sulphur too. But that’s pretty much all.
Read the description here: Charte Vin Naturel (pdf).
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