Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine

Araujo Estate Wines Acquired by Artémis Group, Owners of Château Latour

Araujo Estate Wines, producer of distinctive wines from the iconic Eisele Vineyard in Napa Valley, has been acquired by France’s Pinault family through its holding the Artémis Group, parent company of Château Latour in Bordeaux, Domaine d’Eugénie in Burgundy and Château Grillet in the Rhône Valley. The purchase includes the 38-acre Biodynamic and organically-farmed Eisele Vineyard, the winery and cave complex in northern Napa Valley, the Araujo Estate brand and existing inventory. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“In 1990 we began a new chapter in our lives when we purchased the Eisele Vineyard, an event that shaped our world through the magical terroir of the vineyard, the extraordinary people who work with us to grow the best grapes and make the best wine that we can each vintage, and the very special friends and colleagues who have continued to loyally support the fruits of our labors,” said Araujo Estate founders, Bart and Daphne Araujo. “The Artémis Group is the perfect buyer of this amazing vineyard we have called home for 23 years. The rich heritage of Château Latour and its other wine properties, combined with the family’s passion for the wine business, absolute commitment to excellence, and extraordinary track record of success, assures that the stewardship of Araujo Estate and the Eisele Vineyard will continue with the best of care and intentions.”

“Araujo Estate and its jewel, the unique Eisele Vineyard, have been producing consistently one of the very best wines of Napa Valley,” said Frédéric Engerer, CEO of Chateau Latour, in a statement. “We would very much like to pay tribute to the exceptional work of Bart and Daphne Araujo, whose pioneering vision, dedication to excellence and attention to detail has built one of the most respected wine estates in the world.”

All North American staff, including the entire winemaking team, will remain with the estate under its new ownership. Bart and Daphne Araujo will stay in residence at Araujo Estate until January 2014 to assist in the transition.

Founded in 1990 by Bart and Daphne Araujo, Araujo Estate is a 162-acre wine property located in northern Napa Valley. Its focus is the 38-acre Biodynamic and organically-farmed Eisele Vineyard, one of the most respected Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Napa Valley, and a winery and cave complex designed and built specifically to vinify Eisele Vineyard grapes.

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The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County (CRCMC) are gearing up for the ninth annual Pure Mendocino event. The organic, locally sourced dinner will be held Saturday, August 24 at Paul Dolan’s biodynamic Dark Horse Ranch located on Old River Road.

The event features an opening reception with wine tasting and a silent auction at 5:00 p.m., a farm-to-table dinner at 6:00 p.m., and live music from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. A limited number of pre-sold tickets will also be available for the biodynamic farm tour before the event at 4:00 p.m.

Pure Mendocino is the biggest fundraiser of the year for CRCMC and according to Executive Director Sara O’Donnell, “One hundred percent of all funds raised for the Cancer Resource Centers are used to provide ongoing services at no cost to those facing cancer in Mendocino County.”

Chef Olan Cox of Mendough’s Catering and Wood Fired Catering will lead a team of chefs to prepare this year’s meal, and silent auction items feature vacation rentals (at local B&Bs and in Tahoe), picnics at local wineries, handcrafted furniture, yoga lessons, and more.

After dinner, dance the night away to live music by blues legend Rick Estrin and the Nightcats. Estrin serves up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. The Nightcats include jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer J. Hansen, and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and piano).

CRCMC provides cancer support services to patients and their families free of charge, including help with navigating our complicated medical system, assistance with deciding which treatment is right for each individual, preparing for medical appointments, attending and recording medical appointments, and offering a lending library full of excellent resources. CRCMC also offers support groups. For more information, visit

To date, major sponsors of Pure Mendocino include Frey Vineyards, Dark Horse Farming Company, Fetzer Vineyards, Golden Vineyards, Westport Hotel, Ukiah Valley Medical Center,Savings Bank Of Mendocino County and more. Tickets are $135 each and must be purchased in advance—they’re available online at or at the CRCMC Offices (inland at 590 S. Dora St, Ukiah or on the coast at 45040 Calpella St, Mendocino). For more information call 937-3833 or 467-3828.

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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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