What are the main differences between Organic, Biodynamic, and Natural winemaking?
Organic wines are made from grapes grown without applying herbicides or pesticides in the vineyard. Once harvested, however, chemicals and enzymes can be used in the winemaking process.
Biodynamic producers are a bit more passionate. The vineyards are treated as a living ecosystem and all forms of life (animals, soil microbes, vines, other plants) live in a delicate balance with each other, and no herbicides or pesticides are used. Still, once these grapes are picked, the winemakers can employ chemicals.
A natural winemaking is organic or biodynamic in the vineyard, and most importantly, free of additives in the winery: meaning no yeasts, no nutrients, and, most controversially, no sulfite (typically used as a preservative in industrial winemaking). All of this helps give natural wine its complexity and explains why oenophiles are into them: just as we like to know exactly what we’re eating these days, we want to know exactly what we’re drinking, too.
One final note on vegan wines: natural wines are already vegan because they are not filtered (the filtering process often involves egg whites or fish bladders). Chances are that anyone promoting wines as vegan is doing it primarily for marketing reasons and might not care about quality. “If you buy a wine because it says it’s vegan, there’s a good chance it’s going to be crappy,” experts say.
– foto primus