Natural wines, wild wines, rebel wines,… back to the roots of wine making
When we where visiting one of the biggest wine fairs in Europe, Pro Wein in Dusseldorf, it became clear to us that even for wine producers the term natural wine is often associated with Biological or Bio Dynamic wines. However this is not the same! Discover why...
Natural wines, wild wines, rebel wines,…
back to the roots of wine making When we where visiting one of the biggest wine fairs in Europe, Pro Wein in Dusseldorf, it became clear to us that even for wine producers the term natural wine is often associated with Biological or Bio Dynamic wines.
However for us this is not always the same, so time to give you a bit more insight in our wines selection criteria and to share our wines selection criteria. When we talk to some of our producers, like Guido Gualandi, Maria Pia Castelli or Kistemacher-Hengerer, the European legislation on vinification still allows too many manipulation or interference (>70!) during the vinification process, from the vineyard to the bottle.
Often obtaining the biological or bio dynamic certification is seen as cumbersome, expensive and no real value add to the producers, especially when already maintaining a very strict philosophy for year’s, even decades.
All sources we consulted have their own definition with some common touch points in 4 main categories:
- The Terroir
- The Harvest
- The Vinification process
- The Winery
We invite you to comment on the below charter. The aim is to come to a common understanding of what a ‘natural wine’ really means.
The Cook Stays – Rebel wines charter
We only work with small producers, with a good reputation in their own region or country We support the use of original local grape varieties (eg. Vespaiolo in the Veneto region (IT), Trollinger in the Württemburg region (DE), …) or the revival of lost grape varieties (eg Foglia Tonda) We do not allow the use of any pesticides or other chemical products, except the use of some preventive measure against mildew (eg, copper) The winemaker uses primarily manual or animal efforts in the vineyard (eg use of horses to maintain the surface between the vines) No voluntary manipulation to the grape, the vine or the wines with abusive and brutal techniques (eg. inverse osmose, filtering, pasteurisation, thermovinification,….)
The harvest is done manually. No (or very little use of machinery) during harvest and selection. Use of a mechanical press is allowed
The Vinification Process
Vinification takes place based on original yeasts, present on the skin of the grape, and/or indigenous yeasts. No additives are allowed to the wines, with the sole exception of sulphites in very limited quantities For the red wines: 0 (or natural traces) to 30 mg/l maximum ADDED (For information: 150 mg/l is authorised by the UE) For the white wines: 0 (or natural traces) to 40 mg/l maximum (200 à 400 mg/l is authorised by the UE) NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IS GIVING YOU THESE HEADACHES!
Respect for the residual sugars (none added, except relevant for the type of wine) Nor filtered (not a must) or refined Many of these wines are so different that for many people these wines are not very attractive or too special, or need to be accompanied by the right dishes or ingredients.
Our goal is to present you with a selection of natural wines that are accessible to a wider audience, and with succes we might add.