Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine



Punch writer Aaron Ayscough reports that demand for limited Natural Wines in Paris has led some restaurants to try and keep them hidden from customers not deemed worthy:

The simplest defense against cherry pickers, practiced at wine-shop-slash-restaurant Le Verre Volé and celebrated Belleville bistrot Le Baratin, is to have no wine list at all. Ostensibly this is to ensure that each table arrives at the optimum wine choice. In practice, it also ensures that clients are screened before each wine sale.

Meanwhile, at the Left Bank’s historic Café de la Nouvelle Mairie there is a generous list of natural wines—but it’s only shown on demand. In my experience, staff members I don’t know typically point me to the blackboard of glass-pour wines when I request the list. Each time I must insist that there is indeed a wine list—often making a silly rectangular motion in the air with my fingers—before the server concedes and hands it over.

Read the full article at punchdrink.com.


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Edible Manhattan

Organic Wine Journal just got written up in Edible Manhattan by writer Alia Akkam. Check out the article here.

“We don’t want people to drink a biodynamic wine just because it’s biodynamic. It should be judged on its own merit, like with conventional wines. But if two products are equally good, why would you not take the organic one, where the winemaker lets nature do the work?”


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A new organic and biodynamic wine bar is opening in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. From DNAinfo:

Sunrise/Sunset, 351 Evergreen Ave., opened last Thursday with just bar hours, starting at 5 p.m., said owner Henry Glucroft, 29, who also owns Henry’s Wine and Spirit at 69 Central Ave.

Glucroft, a self-professed wine aficionado, wants to expand the wine list to include more than 100 bottles of natural, organic, biodynamic wine by next week, he said.

The bar currently serves 10 wines by the glass and offers three champagnes. Glucroft, who spent much of his childhood outside Paris, gravitates towards natural, biodynamic wines because they’re made from grapes in self-contained farms that don’t use any pesticides and don’t add chemicals.


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The makers of the documentary Wine The Green Revolution have put some smaller videos online to explain organic and biodynamic winemaking techniques.

Here is one where Pierre Masson explains Lunar and Astral Rhythms.


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New wine bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, focussing on organic and Biodynamic wines.

Sort of Wine Bar
639 Driggs Ave
Sort of Wine Bar Facebook Page

Read more about them on Greenpoint Gazette.


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From Wired:

You’d think the various adjuncts wouldn’t make it past the sommeliers, high-end buyers, and big-name critics of the wine world, that such chemical or mechanical shortcuts would be picked up by their well-trained palates. But the truth is that these things can’t be sniffed, tasted, or spotted unless they are overused.

“Usually you need lab equipment to detect additives,” Draper says. “The Europeans had a very sophisticated machine that could analyze a sample for non-approved varieties like the Rubired in Mega Purple [a popular grape concentrate used to deepen the color of red wine], which was used to reject non-vinifera wines being imported from the States. They also had another machine that could detect whether non-grape sugar was added to a wine, and could even tell where the beets used for the sugar came from.”

Draper’s solution is not banning adjuncts, but asking winemakers to disclose them on a voluntary basis.


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Here is a short film on Cecchin Winery in Mendoza, Argentina, filmed by Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine of The Perennial Plate.

A Very Old Concept from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo.


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Just because you make organic wine doesn’t mean you can export organic wine. Just ask The Wine Kat:

In the States, we can’t say we’re organic. We use PMS (nothing to do with moods at certain phases of the moon) to add sulphur in the winery and that is forbidden under US organic regulations. We can however, as of this year, say that the wine is made using organically-grown grapes and we have to get a COLA (not coca) to approve each and every label we export into the States – this all has to be overseen by our importers, for whom I am sure it is a logistical pain in the neck.

In Europe, we can say that we are “organic wine” (it has to be written exactly thus) and we can give our biogro certification. However, if we do so, we not only have to courier original copies of all certifying paperwork for each shipment (no electronic copies here, because fraudulently claiming to be organic would be the end of the world, right?), but our importers also have to apply for and pay for a special license to be allowed to import and sell organic wine. It can be a real hindrance to sales to smaller importers who baulk at the costs and general-faffing involved.

This is a good example of what we’ve written about before – the costs and time burdens are put on the winemakers who are just doing things the way they’ve been done for centuries. Mostly, they just want to claim what they are ‘not’ doing – modern winemaking techniques that have changed the definition of ‘wine.’ It should be the other way around. The Wine Kat addresses this as well:

Yet, if you decide to Roundup (other herbicides are available) everything to within an inch of its existence, spray your vines with Karate (all-destroying-insecticide) at the first sign of anything with wings approaching, do you have to apply for and pay for any additional sort of export licenses? Not that I’m aware of. I guess because you don’t put it on the label!

According to her twitter page (@winekat) works at Seresin in New Zealand – which is a fantastic place to visit – and her her views are her own, not her employers’.


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