What is Organic,Biodynamic,Natural & Vegan Wine?
Well, simply stated it is grape juice in a bottle which has been fermented.
When I started out in my wine career I had the same problem as most people just not understanding what was on the label of a bottle of Organic Wine and what it would taste like when poured into the glass. What Organic Wine, Biodynamic or Vegan Wine I would like or what should I buy? In a nutshell, if the wine is over the ten pound bracket in all probability it is of good quality. The same rate of duty is applied to both the five pound bottle and the ten pound bottle so you can see the higher the price the more wine of quality in your glass. Another pointer is to check Abv alcohol by volume if it is above 12.5% it’s going to be fuller bodied and dry, aim for below 12.5% for lighter styles of Organic or Vegan Wine.
The symbol for organic wine looks like the following:
The symbol for biodynamic wine looks like the following
The symbol for vegan wine looks like the following:
And if you aim around the ten to twenty pound price point, you can’t go wrong for sure.
Then the only difference is your own preference to whether you like your wine light and fruity or rich and full bodied. In order to understand and appreciate wine one needs to learn a little bit about where it is made, the traditional system from where the wine evolved over time. The history of the Wine region and what foods they eat will all help you understand how a Wine style evolved. It’s a bit like learning about the local history of a given region. The only difference is that you get to taste that history in a glass.
Of course back in history all wines were Organic Wine. After WWI chemicals began to be used in agriculture in general. We now know that those chemicals are not needed for you to begin to appreciate Wine. In Organic viticulture other more natural methods are used eg using nature's own creations eg geese and ducks are very good for picking insects around the vines, and more advanced weather guidance help the growers know how to protect the vine through vigilance. The Wines are again being nurtured as more Natural Wines, worth buying and safe to consume. This knowledge will make you want to discover more about Wine in all its forms, and this is where we come in. We stock Wines that taste of real Organic, Biodynamic Natural and Vegan grapes made by passionate Winemakers who tend to the vines winter and summer. Firstly we check all documentation whether it be for Organic, Biodynamic or Vegan Wine certification but mostly we visit the vineyard to taste the Wine and to get a feel for the vineyard and its owners. Secondly we taste the Wines and evaluate every Wine that we sell. We usually taste two of the same Wines on different days. This gives us a good understanding of the Wine. Secondly each Wine we taste we open in the morning and taste throughout the day allowing the Wine to aerate and evolve over time. That ability to evolve through the day demonstrates the quality of the wine, it's a bit like the wine telling a story in the glass about that year's vintage. Only then when we are sure that the Wines meet our standards of quality and value and rightful place of origin do we include them into our portfolio.
We are also trying to cut our carbon footprint by stocking only European wines and many not so well known grape varieties, but amazing quality and value wines from our European neighbours. Sourcing from Europe makes more sense and also it’s the home of all the grapes that were planted in the New World anyway. The Main requirement for Organic Wine is having a healthy vineyard, and soil microorganisms which are key components of natural living Organic viticulture that carries through to healthy vines and that in turn is expressed in delicious, flavour packed Organic, Biodynamic, Natural or Vegan wines. Now that’s what I call Wine appreciation. Enjoy!
Cover photo is of the vineyard of Coulée de Serrant In the Loire Valley home of Nicolas Joly a pioneer of Biodynamic Farming.