A wine made ‘naturally’ in the cellar, perhaps with some defects (colour, volatile, clarity), is surely healthier. In short, we must rewrite and objectify the analytical parameters as brilliantly as the French already have, while we still cause great confusion and continue to compare these two types of wine within the same topic of discussion
I believe, however, that the two economic sectors, conventional wines and wines organically and naturally produced in the cellar, can never be in competition because they travel parallel paths: they are very different wines and thus subject to different tasting rules.
|Naturally-produced wine just drawn off|
It's easy to meet people who complain about different upsets caused by wine: excellent meals, delicious foods, sore head... thanks to the wine. But why does this continue to happen? Why is wine ruining, ‘poisoning’, us silently? And nobody does anything?
In developing completely organic and natural wines, one must consider environmental conditions, production and managerial abilities, while facing major economic risks. It is a road of uncertainties, surprises and variability… all factors that do not match the strict rules of entrepreneurship which seek security, risk removal and standardised production. These brief considerations should make it clear that choosing the path of becoming a ‘natural wine’ producer is still a strong, costly and risky decision and commitment to it must be conducted with great professionalism. No clashes, conflicts or judgment: everyone can do better.
Sometimes we overdo it with reference to the description of the taste of a wine, “minerality” comes to mind, a terminology frequently used with reference to the minerals found locally (have you ever tried to suck a rock?). It may be helpful to remember how this feature is derived, apart from some specific varieties such as the Riesling, from a biological complexity that is found primarily where the environment is respected, the vines are old and their management committed to preserving the area’s historical and environmental complexity. Many business decisions have instead compromised such situations with massive soil movements, extensive monocultures, forced mechanisation, pesticides and herbicides as well as the uprooting old vines with the loss of varietal gene pools, to build short-lived vineyards condemned by cultivation techniques that are simply too aggressive.
We should not look to the future of wine by projecting the past: let’s also consider empirical knowledge, tacit and unexplained rules, which are embedded in tradition and which science tries to make us understand better: both must be considered.
P.S. I would like to mention, gratefully, the observers and consumers from Japan who, for over twenty-five years, have given Italian producers the stimulus that wine must return to being a natural protagonist by also going beyond ‘taste’.
Finally, I would like to express gratitude to Isabelle Legeron, who, after undertaking the maximum qualification as “Master of Wine”, has become totally committed to natural, raw wine, giving great impetus and synergy to the field.