Given that “natural wine” is a commonly used terminology which refers to a category of goods not yet identified by legislature, I think it is worthwhile to elaborate a possible definition in 6 points.
- The land suitable to produce these wines must contain a clear environmental variability including within the specific vineyard cultivation. A tasting… in the vineyard
- The soil used for vineyards must meet the requirement of flora and animals biodiversity including a convenient biological quality assessment (SBQ).
- The cultivated varieties should correspond to criteria of the area’s culture, history and that of local tradition.
- The cultivation practices must underpin the principles of organic agriculture* (EU law on bio is not adequate).
- The grapes in the cellar must be naturally managed up until wine is produced: producers must absolutely avoid any process, addition, subtraction or anything else that counters the natural process of obtaining and maturing the wines. Clearly this applies to SO2 as well.
- The company must remain artisan-sized to allow the entrepreneur to personally follow the stages of production. Indicatively, the threshold should be at less than 50,000 bottles produced.
It would be desirable, given the growing consumer interest in these types of products, that legislation on a national and European level be drawn up “ad hoc” to make the definition more transparent and protect serious producers. The present confusion of terms and definitions is not conducive to the market’s development or useful to the producers who have taken this path.
*Organic agriculture: an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and the soil’s biological activity. It is based on the minimal use of production factors and management practices that restore, maintain and enhance the ecological and environmental harmony.