Thursday, August 25, 2011

Natural Wines

Blogged several months ago I thought it timely to repeat close to the recent entry on Biodynamics.  Biodynamics is not so much a focus on grapes as it is on the health of the vines. Look after the vines and the 'grapes will follow'. Then if additives are eliminated during the winemaking 'Natural Wines' result...  I haven't seen a description of the relationship between current bon mots: Natural, Sustainable, Biodynamic, etc. as yet. Are they alternatives or are they synonymous? Are they subsets of an umbrella process from vine to bottle? Is each exclusionary in part or whole? If they don't become adversarial does it matter? You say 'tah-mah-to', I say toh-mae-to. An article to read along the way is August 26, 2011 Natural wines by Isabelle Legeron MW

'Natural Wine' appears to be the antithesis of modern viticulture. Starting from the use of pesticides and herbicides control of bugs and unwanted plant life, the chemical fortification of soils and the selective addition (see photo from Natural Wine, Other Stuff) of tannins, acids, the use of foreign yeasts as well as other chemicals to 'enhance' wine the final product attempts to create markets and/or match tastes that have acclimatized to a commercialized age. 

Isabelle Legeron, France's only Master of Wine, tells the story on her website That Crazy French Woman and with so much more information it's the best place to start and to gain a complete picture of the principles of permaculture or permanent sustainable agriculture and making of 'natural' wine.  For convenience, and hopefully to convince you to visit her site, I've repeated segments here. 

In the videos below, Isabelle Legeron's guest Mark Garrett, resident permaculturist at Soneva Fushi, a luxury desert island getaway in the Maldives, describes aspects of sustainable agriculture. 
  • Mark Garrett, Permaculturist: 'No dig' gardening and Viticulture

  • Mark Garrett: Permaculture & Real Sustainability

For more on Mark's work, go to That Crazy French Woman's website:

And a documentary about natural wine in California

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