Natural wines to the attention of the OIV

5 January 2021

A few days ago, the OIV surprised us with an exchange of ideas on the topic of natural wines that I was able to follow in a dedicated webinar on December the 18th 2020. This happened following the general assembly of December the 3rd in which 18 resolutions for sustainability in the vineyard and in the cellar were approved.

In my opinion it is an epochal event that opens the worldwide way for a new rethinking in viticulture and in wine production. 

It was a long time since I wrote, but the inspiration collected in the debate convinced me to express the following reflections.

Technical-scientific progress both in viticulture and in enology constitutes a very precious achievement. In viticulture, sometimes there were also been cases of overcoming the managerial and productive suitability and sustainability with negative consequences (pollution, land degradation). 

In oenology, legislation produced an increasingly numerous series of new permissive techniques, new additives, etc. in order to be able to achieve, in any case and always, an acceptable wine.

These facts must in no way obscure a very large majority of excellent producers who, with experience, talent and courage, constitute the true strength of wine.

In my opinion, natural wine simply represents the occasion to shake those who have not yet fully understood the values of the grape, of the place of origin, of how it was obtained. It follows that already many good producers could still grow with better grape production and a “lighter” wine making process, by becoming in the cellar more ‘assistants’ of fundamental biochemical processes that they must always know, at each harvest.

A second epochal event concerns the generation of millennials: the first that hears that the planet is running out, that there is an urgent need to act today because tomorrow will be late. Important values are overturned in the aspirations, in the ways of living, residing, dressing, traveling, eating (with greater attention to health). I can also add that more and more important events have the environment as their theme and that U.E. directives and investments in the sustainable sector have never been so impressive.

Natural wine, that must be good, has aroused the same interests as food in a search for authenticity, healthiness, beauty of the places of origin and their sustainability.

Natural wine has now reached the whole world and it entered in some of the most renowned restaurants. He has come of age but also for this reason he must always improve with commitment and scientific knowledge. I would like to recall as an example, Japan, forerunner in appreciating natural wine. For about 30 years I received fundamental encouragement for productions more in harmony with the territory and ourselves. I remember well the expression “going beyond taste” which made me reflect a lot.

Wine is a magical product that man has been able to conserve more or less well during his time and up to the present day. Natural wines require a lot of expertise, very suitable environments and they bear production risks that limit their expansion. Territorial loyalty in viticulture and in the cellar are an indispensable heritage and it expresses the true future of wine.

 “Et però credo che molta felicità sia agli homini che nascono dove si trovano i vini buoni “. (I think that a lot of happiness is inside men who are born where good wines are)

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci


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