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Biodynamic, organic and natural wines, what are the differences?

November 27, 2018 Tags: 0 comments
Wine, like any other product, is subject to trends, and now it seems to be the turn of natural wines, wines made without human intervention where the grape juice is transformed into wine naturally, according to its own timing, using natural yeasts. A few years before was biodynamic and before that, organic. Unfortunately for wine lovers, a natural wine making process does not guarantee the quality of the wine, same for organic or biodynamic.

I always believed that a good wine is a good wine independently of how it is made. When a wine is well made, it does not really matter whether it is certified organic, biodynamic or natural, it is always a joy to drink it and each wine maker follows the best approach, the most natural approach, to obtain great grapes from his vineyards, a good or great wine cannot be made without healthy grapes, unless it is made in a chemistry laboratory. Great wines are made in the vineyards.

A few months ago I wrote a post about natural wines, this post is about understanding the differences, if any, between the natural wines and organic and biodynamic philosophy.

Natural wines are made without any human intervention, only natural yeast, no additions or corrections, the juice becomes wines following its own rhythm. Organic and biodynamic wines are wines certified by a third party, confirming that they have been made according their respective regulations, for natural wines there isn’t yet a third party organization that can certify their being “natural” and currently it is up to the interpretation given to the word by the individual wine maker and it is possible to find “natural wines” made following different approaches.

If we were to put the three approaches or philosophies on a pyramid, we would have organic at the bottom, biodynamic in the middle and natural at the top, so that any organic or biodynamic wine could also be natural but they are not by definition, the wine maker would need to go beyond what the certifications for the other two approaches require.

Whilst it is unlikely for an organic wine to be natural as well, it is more likely for biodynamic or natural wines, since the certification requires a certain approach to the wine making process as well as the grape growing. A wine to be certified organic it only needs to be made with organically grown grapes, the wine making process is untouched. The other two classifications also affect the wine making process. And the higher we are in the pyramid, the more we should be prepared to pay for the wine, simply because it require a lot more labour, care and attention to make it, unfortunately not always with great results.

Are natural, organic or biodynamic wines better than the other categories? No, like always, there are good and bad wines, so my recommendation is, as usual, never buy a wine for what it says on the label, always buy your wines from your favourite and knowledgeable wine merchant and if you are looking for Italian wines, discover our natural, organic and biodynamic wines range.

Have you had good or bad experience, what are your thoughts about biodynamic, organic and natural wines, share it with us.
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