If you’re looking for a bottle of wine, that’s delicious, not too bad for your health and good for the environment, what markings do you look for on the bottle label? You may be on the look out for a product that says organic. But then you find some marked 100% organic. Are these better than those simply marked ‘organic’ or ‘made from organic grapes’? Can a bottle of wine actually be partly organic? Then there are wines marked as ‘natural’. How do these differ from organic wines? Or are they all the same? Finally, you may spot a bottle that is labelled ‘biodynamic’, now what on earth does that mean? It can easily seem overwhelming, and you’d be forgiven for giving up on the idea entirely and simply grabbing the bottle with the prettiest label. But read on, and you’ll learn more about the differences between all these types of wine, and what they actually mean in real terms.
The term ‘natural wine’ is simply used as an umbrella term for all organic or biodynamic wines. A natural wine is in some way made naturally, but it cannot be relied on to be 100% organic. It focuses on the production of wine, without taking anything out of it, or adding anything into it. Additives and processing are all kept to the bare minimum to produce the final product.
Organic wine is highly regulated. It has been created using no artificial substances. Beware of wine labelled ‘made from organic grapes’. This means the quality control has only been observed within the vineyard, and not at the processing and bottling stages.
Biodynamic wine is another step further and is a holistic approach to wine production. The focus is on creating vine treatments that are totally natural, such as using plant or mineral based products, and manure. Biodynamic wine growing is very environmentally friendly. It’s the process of creating wine as nature meant it, without too much interference. It is thought that wine created in this manner is the most delicious of all. Of course it also comes with a higher price tag.