Natural, Organic, Vegan, Biodynamic – what does it really mean?

Natural wine is wine made with minimal chemical and technological intervention, both in growing grapes and making them into wine. The winemaker neither adds nor removes anything during the winemaking process, which means that all-natural wines are, at a minimum, farmed organically; many growers are biodynamic in the vineyard as well.

But not all organic wine is natural wine- organic wine is organic in the sense of having been produced from organically grown grapes, but may be subject to chemical and physical manipulation in the winemaking process.

The bottom line is there is no legal definition or classification when it comes to natural wines, but those of you seeking a healthy lifestyle while indulging in a glass or two of wine may be still find organic, natural, biodynamic, and vegan wines appealing.

More about this topic in the coming months, as I will cover a few wineries that produce very good organic wines. Up first is Yalumba Winery from Australia.

Yalumba “Organic” Series
Yalumba was founded by British brewer Samuel Smith in 1849 in Angaston at the Eastern edge of Barossa bordering Eden Valley. Legend has it that Samuel spent some time prospecting for gold and returned home a short time later with 300 pounds in his pockets, more than enough to purchase a 30-acre plot and establish himself as a farmer. Before long, Samuel and his son Sidney planted their first grapes, establishing the Yalumba Dynasty. 5 generations and 170 years later, they are the oldest family-owned winery in Australia. If you’re curious, the name Yalumba is an old Aboriginal word meaning “all the land around” The folks at Yalumba say about their organic series, “Being harmonious with the natural environment has been at the core of our certified organicwinemaking program, where our focus is on making delicious wine to be enjoyed with family and friends.”

Note: These wines are sustainably farmed,organic, and Vegan and Vegetarian friendly!

Viognier 2016 – $15.99
Complex aromas of white flowers, jasmine and spices convince you summer is just around the corner and this is the wine to drink. The palate is creamy and rich with a soft mouthfeel of stone fruits, honeysuckle melon balanced with citrus, spices and nice acidity.
Asian Chicken salad or Pad Thai would work well with this wine. Vegan and Vegetarian Friendly. 90 pt. WS.

Chardonnay 2016 – $9.99
Any way you look at this, this is a really nice Chardonnay! Minimal oak evident, fruit driven and an enticing nose of lemon rind, pineapple and tropical fruits. It’s the palate where it gets interesting- depth and complexity generally not found in ‘organic wines.’ Palate is mouthfuls of peach and apple and melon and home-made orange cream pie on a long finish.
Would pair well with lighter Chicken or seafood dishes. Vegan and Vegetarian Friendly. 90 pt. WS.

Shiraz 2014 – $11.99
So many earthy notes intermingled with dark fruits, spices and plums with a fresh, clean, almost mintiness on the nose. Palate is rich, soft and very approachable- loads of cassis, blueberry, plums, cherries with some interesting vegetal notes wrapped tightly with spices and subtle sweet tobacco on a long savory finish. Surprising elegance and complexity for an ‘organic wine’.
Would pair well with most light meat dishes. Vegan and Vegetarian Friendly. 90 pt. WS.

Peter Ryan
Vine & Table



Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
 Vine & Table #301