Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine


For the second time, the Syndicat des Vignerons Bio d’Aquitaine will be organising a tasting of 100% organic wines at VINEXPO: in Tasting Lounges 1 and 2 at the Palais des Congrès (Convention Centre) on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 June 2013. This professional event brings together 130 French winegrowers and confirms the public’s new-found passion for organic wines. Here is a look at this tasting, unique in France…

Organic wines, naturally at Vinexpo

For two days, 130 organic winegrowers from all over France – Alsace, Bergerac, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, the Rhone Valley, the Loire Valley, etc. – will be presenting a wide range of organic wines.

Two free tasting areas will also make it possible to discover French organic wines whenever you wish: ones that have won medals at the Concours Expression Bio and at themed tastings such as Vieux Millésimes Bio (old vintages) , Rosés Bio, Vins Blancs Secs Bio (dry white wines), Bulles (sparkling wines) & Blancs Bio liquoreux (sweet white wines). This year, the tasting on Tuesday 18 June will end at 7:30 pm to enable professionals to stay longer and discuss with winegrowers.

Organic wines are increasingly successful

For the past several years, organic winegrowing has developed enormously in France: the surface area of organic vines nearly tripled from 2007 to 2011, and now comprises 7.4% of French vineyards. Aquitaine, the third largest producer of French organic wines, is consistent with this trend, with organic vineyards growing some 23 % from 2010 to 2011.

Organic wine production has increased, and demand has as well: 1 French person out of 3 regularly drinks organic wine . In 2011, French sales of organic wines amounted to 359 million euros (+11.5% compared to 2010). At the present time (and mostly for longer then the past 5 years), 74% of gastronomic restaurants sell organic wines, as do 94% of supermarkets. Exports are also buoyant, and organic wines are very much in vogue in Northern Europe, Asia (Japan and South Korea) and North America.

More restrictive regulations make for greater ease in communicating

Organic wines have had to respect more involved specifications since the 1st of August 2012. The making of grapes into wine is now subject to strict regulations. This extension of European legislation makes it easier to promote organic wines instead of relying on the previous description, vin issu de raisins de l’agriculture biologique (i.e. “wine made from organically-grown grapes”).

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From Sedlescombe:

Two and a half years after releasing the first internationally accredited biodynamic white wine to be made in the UK – Sedlescombe, a Sussex based vineyard, has announced the forthcoming release of two more wine styles – The first sparkling and the first red wine to be produced in England to the exacting standards of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association (BDA)

The two new Sedlescombe wines are being introduced by proprietors Roy and Irma Cook, in nine days of free tastings to be held during English Wine Week. (25th May – 2nd June) at their vineyard in ‘1066 Country’, near Battle in East Sussex.

The Sedlescombe 2010 vintage Premier Brut is a sparkling white wine made in the classic Champagne style from 60% Seyval Blanc and 40% Johanniter grapes grown at the home vineyard and at the nearby vineyard at Bodiam Castle managed by the Cooks. A ‘Traditional Method’ secondary fermentation of minimum 18 months is credited in its tasting notes as adding “a toasty flavour” to the wine’s “tangy tropical fruit palate”.

Somewhat unusually, but in keeping with Sedlescombe’s eco-philosophy of ‘minimal packaging’ this fizz does not have a capsule covering the cork and wire hood. Instead, the exposed wire-hood proudly displays the lunar logo associated with the Sedlescombe brand.

The Sedlescombe 2011 vintage Regent is an oak matured red wine made from the high quality Regent grapes gathered in the outstanding harvest of that year from the Sedlescombe Millennium vineyard. The exceptionally high sugar levels achieved in 2011 ensured an adequate natural alcohol level of 11.74%, making *chapitalization unnecessary (*the standard practice of adding sugar to grape juice in northern climatic zones), while 7 month maturation in French barique oak barrels has produced a smoky full bodied wine of notable complexity.

Both wines have achieved independent ‘Quality’ designations administered by Wine Standards and are uniquely (for the UK) marked with the Demeter symbol to signify their adherence to the international standard set by the BDA.

Co-proprietor and wine maker Roy Cook is quoted as saying “I have no doubt that my decision to upgrade from organic to full biodynamic status in 2010 has added an extra quality to our wines and helped to define their unique ‘terroir’. We have been making sparkling wines since 1990, with very good results – but I am confident that the 2011 Brut is our best sparkler ever. The 2011 Regent is in my opinion as good as, and potentially even better than our award winning 2003 vintage.

Roy Cook continued “I am entering both wines into two competitions: the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) Wine of the Year competition, and the International Organic Wine Awards to be held in Germany in early June. I know we shouldn’t count our chickens, but do believe these remarkable wines are worthy of independent recognition; we’ll see!”

Founded in 1979 by Roy and Irma Cook, with Soil Association certification gained in 1982, Sedlescombe Vineyard is England’s oldest and largest organic wine producer. In 2010 Sedlescombe moved to “premium organic” status by becoming the first vineyard in the UK to gain biodynamic certification. The vineyard has performed well over the years, consistently producing wines that gain top EU “Quality” appellations and year by year winning a host of awards including a first for its dry white.

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RAW is one of the most exciting, and certainly the largest, collection of fine, natural, organic and biodynamic wine artisans ever to come together in the capital. The two-day celebration of some of the best wine talent in the world offers visitors the chance to sample over 1000 different wines from more than 200 growers. As well as tastings, the show features talks from the world’s leading experts and a selection of incredible food by renowned artisan food producers and restaurants. The independent fair is organised by Isabelle Legeron MW – the first French female to earn the accolade of Master of Wine and the first MW to focus exclusively on natural wine.

Dates: 19th – 20th May 2013. Sunday – open to public and trade, Monday – open to trade in the day, public early evening
Times: Sunday (open to everyone) 10 am to 6 pm. Monday (open to trade) 10 am to 8 pm
Address: F BLOCK, The Old Truman Brewery, 83 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL.

The entrances to use are near the corner of Brick Lane and Hanbury Street.
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street Station (or Shoreditch High Street). RAW is a 5 to 10-minute walk from the station

Web Address:, Twitter @rawfair and Facebook:

Price: Sunday All day: £20 (fee included) – if bought in advance. All day: £25 – on the door Monday: 5pm to 8pm: £20 (fee included) – if bought in advance 5pm to 8pm: £25 – on the day (trade only in the day) Sunday & Monday tickets (i.e. all day Sunday and evening Monday): for £30.
Age Group: 18+

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“Wine and the Environment, Organic, Biodynamic, and Natural,” the latest book by Britt and Per Karlsson (of BKWine), has won two prizes. It was first named “Best Wine Book for Professionals” in Sweden. Then it was awarded silver, second place, in the category “World’s Best Educational Wine Book 2012.” Both awards were given by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

“Wine and the Environment” is the third book by Britt and Per Karlsson. It describes in detail organic wine growing and wine making and what organic wines are. It also explains other related concepts like biodynamic wine, natural wine, sustainability and fair trade. The book also contains a number of producer profiles of wine makers that the authors recommend. It is lavishly illustrated.

The text in the book is written by Britt and the photographs are by Per in this husband and wife author couple. It has taken the authors a year and a half to complete the book. Over that time they have visited and talked to hundreds of wine producers all over the world. Britt comments on the awards: “To make a book like this, full of facts and details, you need a lot of energy and drive. It is perhaps a little trite to say but we have really put our soul into it. Then it is fantastic to be acknowledged like this for all the work that you have done, both in Sweden and internationally.”

Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is the world biggest competition for wine and food literature. The first phase of the competition awards national prizes. These are then presented at the world finals where they compete for the international awards. The awards ceremony took place in Paris at the end of February. More than 10,000 books participate every year.

BKWine was founded in the 90s by Britt Karlsson, a Swede living in Paris. In the early ‘00s she was joined by her husband Per Karlsson in the business that now encompasses several different wine related activates. The main business is organising wine tours for wine enthusiasts and wine professionals who want to visit wine regions to learn more about wine. Each year BKWine organises some 30 wine tours. BKWine also publishes an online newsletter on wine, The BKWine Brief, which reaches some 20,000 subscribers. Britt and Per are members of the British Circle of Wine Writers (CWW), the International Wine Writers Federation (FIJEV), the French Wine Press Association (APV), the International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) and several other wine and gastronomic organisations.

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The Real Wine Fair is a growers’ tasting supported by the following merchants: Les Caves de Pyrène, Passione Vino, Roberson Wines, Indigo Wines, Tutto Wines, Eclectic Wines, Ethical Edibles and Modern Portuguese Story.

Over 100 artisan growers will be present to pour and talk about their wines. Amongst those featuring will be Domaine Réné Mosse, Pierre Breton, Clos du Gravillas, Domaine Plageoles, Domaine Pierre Frick, Champagne Francis Boulard, Domaine Gramenon, Sandro Fay, COS, Eugenio Rosi, Paolo Vodopivec, Montevertine, Cascina degli Ulivi, Afros, Zarate Family, Bodegas Mengoba, Recaredo, Pheasant’s Tears, Testalonga & Lammershoek and Pyramid Valley.

Eleven growers will come over from Georgia to show their unique wines at the fair. On Tuesday 19th March there will be a celebration of Georgian gastronomy at Terroirs with food, wine and song. Details to follow in a further press release.

The food and drink exhibitors will be Ham & Cheese Company, Zucca, Duck Soup, Donostia, Caravan Coffee, E5 Bakehouse, Wright Brothers, Hoxton Beach, Handmade Food, Androuet Cheese, Original Beans, Paff Ices, Camden Town Brewery and Sacred Microdistillery.

There will be a pop up restaurant in the evening at the venue hosted by Ed Wilson.

The Real Wine Shop will be run by Roberson Wine Merchant.

The Real Wine Fair is part of The Real Wine Month featuring a promotion of organic, biodynamic and natural wines in restaurants, bars, bistros as well as independent merchants and retailers. Confirmed participants include Galvin, Club & Cellar Gascon, Fifteen, The Modern Pantry, Moro, Newman Street Tavern, The Green Man & French Horn, Duck Soup, The Nut Tree Inn (Oxon), Henri’s (Edinburgh), L’Art du Vin (Edinburgh), Origin Wines (Wigan), and Solent Cellar (Lymington).
Tickets for the consumer day are now on sale for £15 (+ £1.55 booking fee) per ticket at or £20 on the door.

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Jenny & François Selections is pleased to announce the 2013 Natural Winemakers’ Week, February 28- March 6, 2013!

Fourteen natural, organic and biodynamic winemakers from France, Italy, and Oregon are coming to NYC for a week of wine dinners, classes and free tastings.

Set your tweets to hashtag #nww13!

Winemakers coming:

Loup Blanc (Languedoc), Rimbert (Languedoc), Patience (Languedoc), Chemins de Bassac (Languedoc), Domaine des 2 Anes (Languedoc), Clos Siguier (Cahors, France), Grange Tiphaine (Loire), Guillot-Broux (Burgundy), Tire Pe (Bordeaux), Bosco Falconeria (Sicily), Ca’ dei Zago (Veneto), Poggiosecco (Tuscany), Podere Canetta (Tuscany), Montebruno (Oregon)

Schedule of events: (more events TBA, please visit for updates)

Thursday, February 28th

5-7pm West Side Wine: 481 Columbus Ave, NYC (212) 874-2900. Free tasting with Magali Terrier of Domaine des 2 Anes, Languedoc, France.

Saturday, March 2nd:

2-5pm: Astor Center Grand Tasting (upstairs) 399 Lafayette St.@4th St., (212) 674-7501. Meet 14 winemakers and taste over 30 wines. $25 general admission, $35 includes three 30-minute limited seating seminars. Buy tickets at : This event sells out quickly!

Sunday March 3rd:

1-3pm: Free prosecco tasting with Ca’ dei Zago at Frankly Wines, 66 West Broadway, NYC, (212) 346-9544
3:30-5pm: Corkbuzz wine studio, 13 E. 13th Street, NYC (646) 873-6071. Tasting and class led by Laura Maniec, master sommelier, with Emmanuel Guillot-Broux (Burgundy), Jean-Marie Rimbert (Languedoc), and Damien Delecheneu (Domaine la Grange Tiphaine from the Loire Valley). Buy tickets at
5-7pm: Free wine tasting at Appellation Wine and Spirits
7:30: Winemaker dinner at The Green Table: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, NYC (212) 741-6623, $115, Reservations required – buy tickets here.

Monday March 4th:

10am-5pm: Jenny & François Portfolio Tasting (trade & press only – please RSVP) call (646) 775-6400 or email: , 287 Spring Street between Hudson and Varick. (NOTE THAT THIS IS A NEW LOCATION, NOT AT THE SMITH RESTAURANT)

Tuesday March 5th:

8pm-12am: Party at the Ides Bar at Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 460-8000. Featuring all the winemakers, 20 wines by the glass, a DJ, and a killer view of the Manhattan skyline.

Wednesday March 6th:

6-8pm: Free wine tasting at Fermented Grapes, 651 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 230-3216
8pm: Winemaker dinner at The Farm on Adderley: 1108 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, (718) 287-3101. Reservations required, email

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In 2013, Millésime Bio, the organic-wine trade show, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. From 28 to 30 January, the trade fair will take place at the Exhibition Centre in Montpellier, Languedoc-Roussillon (southern France), France’s leading region for organic-winegrowing. The trade show will have 700 exhibitors and is expected to attract 3,500 visitors.

Millésime Bio 2013 will welcome 700 exhibitors from all wine-producing countries and regions, along with an expected 3,500 visitors, highlighting the growing enthusiasm surrounding organic wines. The trade show will take place at the Exhibition Centre in Montpellier, at the heart of France’s largest organic-winegrowing region, i.e. Languedoc-Roussillon, in southern France.

Originally founded by a handful of Languedoc-Roussillon winegrowers, Millésime Bio now gathers the main buyers in the wine market each year: the trade fair attracts wholesale merchants, brokers, retail wine merchants, sommeliers, hospitality-industry professionals, and importers from across five continents.

The 20th anniversary of this major international event will take place early next year, between 28 and 30 January, bringing together participants from across the sector, including certified organic-wine producers from 11 countries in Europe, Africa, as well as North and South America.

To give but a few examples, Millésime Bio 2013 will host producers from a Chilean bodega located in the Maipo region of central Chile, as well as five Portuguese and six Austrian producers that did not attend the trade show in 2012. There will also be a number of returning exhibitors, including Lazanou and Waverley Hills from South Africa; Humbel from Switzerland; Egybev from Egypt; Frey Vineyards, which is America’s first organic winery, based in California; and, finally, a range of producers from France, Italy and Spain.

With approximately 900 samples from numerous wine-producing regions from across the globe, the Challenge Millésime Bio 2013 continues to assert its standing as a major international wine competition. This year, the tastings by a jury of wine professionals will take place on 27 November 2012.

During the trade fair, in January 2013, visitors and exhibitors to Millésime Bio 2013 will be invited to a cocktail party, which will take place at 7.00pm in Hall 7, where the prizes for the competition will be awarded. (Exact date of the party to be confirmed.) Thierry Julien, Chairman of Sudvinbio, the trade show’s organisers, and Michael Apstein, President of the Challenge Millésime Bio 2013 jury, will award the gold medals at the party.

There will be a host of significant events happening during the trade show that will foster dialogue in relation to key issues affecting the sector. These events include a round table organised by Agence Bio, France’s Agency for Organic Agriculture, on the subject of European winemaking and new European regulations. There will also be the International Business Convention organised by the Wine Department of Sud de France Export, the regional development agency for the region of Languedoc-Roussillon.

In 2012, Millésime Bio welcomed 588 exhibitors from 13 countries and over 3,300 trade visitors, 22% of whom were from outside France. The trade show’s main visitors remained professionals from the Benelux countries (which made up 16.7% of non-French visitors), Germany (13%), North America (12.5%), and Scandinavia (11.5%).

France, which ranks second after Spain, is a key player in the worldwide organic-winegrowing market. Additionally, one in three people in France drinks organic wine on a regular or occasional basis (according to a survey conducted by polling organisation Ipsos), and France’s organic-wine market amounts to €359 million in value.

In 2011, there were over 61,000 hectares of land dedicated to organic-wine production in France, against 50,270 hectares in 2010. France’s organic-wine-producing vineyards have, therefore, increased their acreage by 21%, year on year. Since 2009, surfaces devoted to organic-wine production have increased almost threefold: the number of organic-winegrowing estates in France rose from 3,945 in 2010 to 4,692 in 2011.

Leading the industry, three French regions stand out: Languedoc-Roussillon (with 19,900 hectares, up 21% year on year since 2010), followed by Provence-Côte d’Azur in the south-east of the country (13,790 hectares, up 23%) and Aquitaine in the south-west (9,500 hectares, up 23%).

About Millésime Bio

The Millésime Bio trade show was launched in 1993 by a small number of Languedoc-Roussillon winegrowers who organised it to stimulate interest in, and to encourage a constructive dialogue around, organic wine.

The trade fair is organised by Sudvinbio, the trade association for organic-wine producers in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.

The 20th Millésime Bio organic-wine trade fair will take place from 28 to 30 January 2013 at the Exhibition Centre, in Montpellier (Languedoc-Roussillon).

For further information, please go to:

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Richmond Plains has won the Trophy for the best Sauvignon Blanc at the 2012 Sydney International Wine Competition.

Richmond Plains Sauvignon Blanc 2011 from Nelson was awarded the Trophy ahead of other top gold medal winning wines from around the world. This is also the first New Zealand organic and biodynamic wine to be awarded this major honour at this show.

“We were very excited to be awarded a Gold Medal and to be selected as one of the top 100 entrants to this show (which is limited to 2000 entries from around the world) as well as being awarded a Blue Gold for excellence in food and wine matching. Wining the Trophy is certainly the icing on the cake” said owner Lars Jensen.

The Sydney Show differs from many as it not only awards the best tasting wines, they are also judged to find out which wines best match food. The Blue Gold is awarded for food matching. The Richmond Plains Sauvignon Blanc was paired with Celebrity Chef Michael Manner’s goats curd tartlet with asparagus and herbs.

This is the second International Trophy in a row for consecutive Sauvignon Blanc vintages awarded to Richmond Plains. Its 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was awarded the Trophy for Best of Show Organic & Biodynamic wine at the Hong Kong International Wine Challenge in 2011.

“We are thrilled to win this trophy for our wine and it is wonderful recognition for all the hard work the team puts into making our wine” said winemaker Steve Gill. “We strive hard to work With Nature in our organic and biodynamic vineyards to produce balanced wines that not only taste great but are good for you and the environment”

Established in 1991 and exclusively organic since inception, this small family vineyard in Nelson is an organic and biodynamic specialist – the first New Zealand winery to achieve both certifications. Richmond Plains produced New Zealand’s first ever Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Blanc de Noir from certified organic and biodynamic grapes.

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