natural, organic, biodynamic wine: talking about with the expert in biodynamic agriculture
The three interchangeable definitions referring to wines “Organic”, “Biodynamic” and “Natural” are now used indiscriminately and all too casually. This results in a lot of confusion not so much for wine experts of course, but certainly for quite a large number of wine consumers.
We talked about biodynamic wine with Adriano Zago, agronomist, oenologist and expert in biodynamic agriculture, in an attempt to clarify these definitions:
– Natural: the definition refers to a wine containing no added chemicals and which is produced in a manner respectful of the techniques of organic farming but at the same time, does not follow any protocol or specification. This can give rise to margins for manipulation. However if used correctly it can be defined as a wine without toxic substances.
– Organic: refers to a technique which adheres to a specification that prohibits synthetic substances and restricts certain preservatives both for the growing of the grapes and for the production the wine itself. However those who have been making organic wine for years know that it is a loose term that sometimes is not a total guarantee.
– Biodynamic: the extensive certification required for biodynamic wine imposes greater restrictions than the other two disciplines. It does not allow, for example, the use of any additives to enhance the quality and vitality of the wine. Biodynamic wine is generally made without sulphites, one of the most commonly used substances for preserving wine. The amount of sulphites is regulated in decreasing quantities for the three definitions: a larger amount of sulphites is permitted in “Natural” fewer in “Organic” while Biodynamic wine can be made completely without or with only a minimal quantity of sulphites.
In Italy the absence of sulphites is declared on the label of the wine in the words “senza solfiti aggiunti” (no added sulphites) whereas in France, explains Zago, the definition “natural wine” automatically means without sulphites.
Regarding the certifiers: for organic wine there are about fifteen different certifiers. For biodynamic there is only one “Demeter” that ensures the correct application of the principles of bio dynamics to farming and alimentary production worldwide. Regarding wine, it attests to the quality of the grapes and how they are grown and guarantees all the processes of wine making and ageing in the cellar.
The clients of Artenova who produce organic and biodynamic wine certainly do not randomly choose the terracotta from Impruneta to make their wine: what could be more natural, in fact, than the material of which these wine jars are made?