Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine



Starting today, the Organic Wine Journal will be covering the wide and diverse world of organic spirits. There’s a new breed of handcrafted vodkas, gins, tequilas and others being made that reflect the same commitment to quality and practices as organic wines. Tune in each Friday for a new organic spirit review with our host Tony Sachs.


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This wine is like “a powerful hug from a really sexy lady.” Watch Victoria’s review of the Erbaluna Barbera d’Alba Superiore La Rosina 2010.


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Are you a sommelier who really knows their Languedoc-Roussillon wines? Want to win a trip to the region to meet some great winemakers? Then enter the Sud De France Sommelier Competition. There’ll be an exam and blind tasting – and then the final three candidates will compete in front of a live audience.


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New York’s most exciting wine tasting of the year will be held once again in the spacious Granite Room and Rose Room of City Hall Restaurant at 131 Duane Street. All proceeds from this event (as well as $500 donations from Chambers Street Wines and Louis/Dressner) will go to Partners-in-Health “breaking the cycle of poverty and disease in Haiti and 11 countries around the world.” (For more information or to contribute directly, go to www.pih.org) Admission is $20, cash or check at the door. No sign-up sheet this year so come anytime, but we would advise arriving between 1:00 and 2:00 or between 3:30 and 4:00.

Natural viticulture, hand harvesting, low yields, wild yeasts, non-interventionist winemakng, and, most importantly, enjoyment, are the “principles” of Louis/Dressner. These growers are a unique and fascinating group committed to the natural expression of their terroirs and culture through honest, traditional wines. Here’s the list of vignerons attending:

Domaine de la Pépière, Muscadet; Domaine Luneau-Papin, Muscadet; Domaine Bernard Baudry, Chinon; Domaine du Closel, Savennières; Domaine François Pinon, Vouvray; Domaine des Terres Dorées, Beaujolais; Domain Franck Peillot, Savoie; Domaine Eric Texier, Rhone; Montesecondo, Tuscany; Weingut Knebel; Weingut Immich-Baterieberg; Weingut Clemens Busch and Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht.
And we’ll be pouring wines from these outstanding domains as well: La Sansonnière, Anjou; Noella Morantin, Touraine; Tue-Boeuf, Touraine; Puzelat-Bonhomme, Touraine; Les Vin Contés, Touraine; Michel Augé, Touraine; Laurent Barth, Alsace; Claude Maréchal, Burgundy; Paul Pernot, Burgundy; Jean Manciat, Macon; Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie; Desvignes, Morgon; Georges Descombes, Morgon; Lard des Choix, Ardeche; Marcel Richaud, Rhone; Oratoire Saint-Martin, Cairanne; Hauvette, Provence; Mas Chimères, Languedoc; Domaine du Possible, Roussillon; Nusserhof, alto Adige; Monte dall’Ora, Valpolicella; Bera, Piedmont; Cascina Tavijn, Piedmont; Ca de Noci, Emilia-Romagna; Graciano, Emilia-Romagna; Sanguineto, Montalcino; Guttarolo, Puglia; Del Prete, Puglia; Romeo del Castello, Sicily; De Bartoli, Sicily. Wow, what a list, see you on the 22nd!


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From Beverage Media:

According to Michael Degen, Executive Director Messe Düsseldorf GmbH and Director of ProWein, “The numbers of organic producers have grown substantially over the years and this year some 250 exhibitors declare to have a specific focus on the category.” ProWein will feature a special section in Hall 6 titled “World of Organic Wine” featuring participants from Switzerland, South Africa, Bulgaria, Australia, France and Italy. Additionally there will be a “Top 100” tasting zone of award winning international organic wines. And of course many other producers in Hall 6 and other halls will be offering organic, sustainable and biodynamically produced wines as part of their portfolio, including a wide array from Wines of Chile.

The biodynamic sub-category has grabbed a lot of attention with passionate proponents adopting the controversial production system devised and introduced in Austria by Rudolph Steiner. The primary certification organization, Demeter, will have a booth at the trade fair along with seminars on the program. Also in attendance will be Ecovin, Respekt, Fepeco (Spain) and CCE (Croatia). Demeter is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2014 with a variety of seminars and special tastings listed on the ProWein website.


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Olivier Cousin Trial

Jim’s Loire has a 3 part write-up about Olivier Cousin’s day in court:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


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The fourth FIVE fair is gathering steam. This year it will be held in Pamplona’s Ciudadela (Fortress Park), a landmark of the Navarre capital, on the 6th and 7th of May. FIVE has become the great meeting point for the peninsula’s organic wines. More than 30 different D.O.s have participated in the three previous fairs and wines have been on show made from native varieties seldom seen on the modern market, as is the case with monastrell, bobal and viognier. The fair has attracted importers from more than 20 countries, among which are to be found the main buyers of this type of wine.

Following on from previous fairs, the aim is to have some 60 participating wineries, so that visitors will have sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the wines on show. FIVE’s hope is that quality will come out, the quality of the products on show. That is the reason why the emphasis of the fair is not on an advertising display by the wineries participating but on testing and getting to know the wines on an equal footing.

After three successful fairs attended by organic viticulturists from Spain, Portugal and France, FIVE has opted to optimise its efforts to energise the the sector. Accordingly, last year it decided to organise the event on a biannual basis, concentrating in the ‘odd’ years on organising other activities aimed at strengthening the presence of organic wine in international fairs and other events related to the sector. Last year, the first virtual fair took place with the participation of 56 Spanish, French and even Italian wineries.

FIVE is organised by AEN – the Association of Organic Agricultural Enterprises of Navarre. This year, as well as the fourth FIVE fair, it is organising an organic wine promotional drive for Prowein in March, Europe’s largest fair for the sector. Organic, biodynamic and natural wines from the south of Europe can participate in the fair and visitors can register without charge. For more information and registration visit our webpage: www.five-bio.com.


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From Dr. Vino:

Frédéric Niger Van Herck, a partner and the winemaker at Domaine de l’Ecu, posted the news that their “Expression de Granite” 2012, one of three bottlings that express the different soil types, has been denied the approval of the tasting committee. Here what he said on FB:

News of the day: Granite 2012 has just been rejected by the AOC tasting committee–and unanimously, no less… Promised for next year, full-on chemistry, mechanical harvesting, commercial yeasts, full use of enzymes, and sulphur galore… It should pass that way.

The worst thing is that everything is sold out and have nothing left… When will these official tastings end that turn the beautiful into standardized products? [my translation]

Long live the French wine!

He elaborated that the panel of five tasters judged his wine to be oxidized, adding “what a bunch of…”


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