Natural wine

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Natural wine is wine made without chemical and minimum technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine. The term is used to distinguish such wine from organic wine and biodynamic wine because of differences in cellar practices. All natural wines are, however, farmed organically at a minimum and many growers are biodynamic in the vineyard as well.

Strictly speaking, natural wines are wines that are produced without adding or removing anything during winemaking, although some growers add tiny quantities of sulphites at bottling, so that strictly speaking their wines are not natural wines, but 'only' organic (and possibly biodynamic).

Organic wine is organic in the sense of having been produced from organically grown grapes, but may be subject to chemical and physical manipulation in the winemaking process.[1]


At the present time (2013) there exists no official or legal definition of natural wine; neither has any legislation been passed to date by any regional, national or supra-natural authority, and there are no organizations that can certify that a wine is natural.

However, there are many unofficial definitions or codes of practice published by the different associations of natural wine producers:

  • L´Association des Vins Naturels (France) [1]
  • Les Vins S.A.I.N.S (France) [2]
  • La Renaissance des Appellations (France) [3]
  • Vini Veri (Italy) [4][dead link]
  • Vinnatur (Italy) [5]
  • Asociación de Productores de Vinos Naturales de España (Spain) [6]
  • Philipp Wittmann, Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (Germany) [7]
  • Autentisté (Czech and Slovak Republic)
  • Terra Hungarica (Hungary and Carpathian Basin) [8]

Additionally, many articles have been written defining what is or is not natural wine given that there is no clear consensus or definition on the topic as of yet. [2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


The following basic criteria are generally accepted by most natural wine producers and organizations:

International Natural Wine Fairs[edit]

Key individuals[edit]

The following people were or are particularly instrumental in the inspiration, production or communication of contemporary natural wine:

  • Isabelle Legeron MW, founder of RAW, standard bearer for natural wines and author of "Natural Wine: an introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally"
  • Giorgio De Maria, Mike Bennie, Linda Wiss, Matt Young, James Hird. Founders and organisers of Rootstock Sydney festival.
  • Rudolf Steiner, curator of biodynamics.
  • Maria Thun, author of the biodynamic calendar.
  • Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese philosopher of farming.
  • Jules Chauvet, developer of carbonic maceration fermentation, sulphite free winemaking, and author.
  • Claude Bourguignon, French agricultural scientist, consultant and author.
  • Nicolas Joly, wine producer, head of Renaissance des Appellations Controlees, and spokesman for biodynamics.
  • Marcel Lapierre, wine producer, mentor, and early adopter of low to no sulphite winemaking.
  • Alice Feiring, American writer.
  • Josko Gravner, Italian wine producer and mentor.


The term "Natural wine" is considered by some critics, such as Tom Wark, to be a misleading term. There is no established certification body and the term has no legal status. Winemakers who describe themselves (or are described by others) as "natural" often differ in what they consider to be an acceptable level of intervention. The term might also confuse consumers into assuming that the wine is organically grown.

See also[edit]