Grapevines at an Organic and Biodynamic Vineyard

Why the Natural Wine Movement is Gaining Momentum

Throughout the US and the world, people are embracing natural—in their skincare, in their food, in their cleaning products, and increasingly in their wine. Natural markets are booming, and wine is no exception. Natural wine sales are estimated to top $200 million annually in the United States, according to Forbes.

Although there is no official certification for “natural”, generally natural wines are farmed using organic and biodynamic methods, whether or not the farm is certified organic on the state or national level. Organic and biodynamic farming methods emphasize protecting the soil and decreasing pollution, not utilizing additives or synthetic pesticides, and cultivating biodiversity.These methods especially emphasize an ecosystem approach, so growers may have multiple species growing in their vineyards, like wildflowers among the vines.

However, to be certified organic, farms must adhere to certain rules that aren’t always best for a winemaker’s grapes or soil, and it is time consuming and expensive. The landscape of certification is especially complicated for wine, since being certified organic does not necessarily guarantee that a wine is free of additives; there are differences in certification between wineries and vineyards and additives could be added after the fermentation process. Because of this and other complexities, Bliss imports from some winemakers who are not certified organic, but all Bliss winemakers are committed to using organic and biodynamic methods and treating vineyards as minimally as possible. Organic and biodynamic farmers, including vineyard managers, treat their farms as an interconnected system which they care for holistically.

Natural wines are created without the additives usually present in other wines. These might include synthetic yeasts to quicken fermentation, coloring, sulfites (used as a preservative) or any of the other 60 government-approved chemicals to add to wines and juices. Many grocery store wine labels are created more in a lab than a vineyard, since flavor profiles are significantly shifted with added chemicals. Unlike other products you can buy in a grocery store, alcoholic beverages are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, so producers of chemically treated wine are not required to disclose very much about what they are putting into their bottles.

The pesticides and additives used to create mainstream wines are not good for the earth, or the consumer. It is widely documented that pesticides can damage soil and kill delicate organisms, and they can also be very dangerous to human health. Additives in wine can cause health impacts like headaches and other symptoms; some people are allergic to sulfites, so wines with added sulfites can cause adverse reactions.

Natural wines avoid chemicals in the earth and in the glass while maintaining quality and flavor. Natural wines sometimes taste different than conventional wines—they may be earthier in taste or be a bit fizzy. But some natural wines taste the same as  conventional wine, and others are described as tasting brighter and more alive than their mainstream counterparts. They are generally slightly lower in alcohol, and they may be a bit darker than other wines.

Natural wines are becoming more and more popular, especially among millennial wine buyers who are attracted to the health benefits, the unique flavor profiles and the environmentally conscious message of the natural wine industry. Customers want to enjoy delicious wine that won’t hurt their bodies or their planet.

BTW, natural and delicious wines don't have to be expensive. Have you tried any of ours yet?

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