In wine news that almost went unnoticed by the general public in March, but signifies progress in the wine world, the name "Vin Méthode Nature" or "natural wine" was officially recognized in the eyes of the French law enforcement agency (DGCRRF) and INAO (national institute of origin and quality).
An important moment for a after a decade of lobbying meaning natural wine now has a charter guaranteeing a wine produced according to precise specifications, avoiding the misuse of the word "natural" to describe wines containing sulphates.
"Until then, shameless people used the word 'natural' to highlight products that had nothing to do with our vision of things," says Jacques Carroget, a winemaker in Loire-Atlantique, president of the union for the protection of Natural wines at the Atabula site. "For union members, this is completely unacceptable and in contradiction to the emotion of the drinker. It is not a policed system but there will be a random verification process."
This new charter, associated with this natural wine label, requires that the cuvées come from vines cultivated in organic vineyards, devoid of inputs, sulphites (beyond a certain threshold), picked manually, without technological intrusion and using only indigenous yeasts from the winery and the farm.
"For this spirit to last, it was necessary to be able to establish a clear difference between those who use natural rhetoric only to make added value and sincere and passionate people. We are betting this year on a hundred cuvées, and from there the number should increase rapidly, "adds winemaker Jacques Carroget to Atabula.
Decanter report that 100 French producers are thought to sign up to the official charter with Spain, Italy and Switzerland likely to follow in the near future.