France Officially Recognises Natural Wine

As reported by Wine Business‘vin méthode nature’ will be the official term for wines that fall within the new denomination.

After 10 years effort, the French wine industry has obtained the right to market wines officially recognized as “natural”. In collaboration with the French Ministry for Agriculture, the French National Institute for Origins and Quality (INAO) and the French Fraud Control Office, the newly created Natural Wines Union, presided by Loire Valley vintner Jacques Carroget, has established a list of criteria and a screening protocol dedicated to this new designation.

Wines that qualify will be able to use this logo on their bottles Existing European regulations prohibit the use of the term ‘natural’ wine on labels, so the Natural Wines Union came up with the term ‘vin méthode nature’.

The denomination will be subject to a three-year trial period. In order to use the term ‘vin méthode nature’ on labels, the wine has to be produced from hand-picked grapes from certified organic vines and made with indigenous yeast.

The following practices are prohibited during the winemaking process: cross-flow filtration, flash pasteurisation, thermovinification and reverse osmosis.

Up to 30 mg/l of sulfites are allowed in all types of wine. To differentiate between natural wines that contain sulfites and those that are sulphite-free, two logos have been created indicating whether or not the product contains sulfites.

Every year an external entity will control the bottled wine applying for the designation. If the wine has not conformed to the regulations, it has to be marketed as a different brand so as not to mislead consumers.

Over 100 French wine brands are expected to be marketed as ‘vin méthode nature’ in the coming months, with Spanish and Italian wineries expected to follow suit.

“The first wines bearing the designation were made last year by vintners who agreed before the harvest to fulfill its requirements,” Sebastien David, one of the founding members of the Natural Wines Union, told Wine Business.

sources: thedrinksbusiness / winebusiness

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