Natural Wine Finally Certified in France, Here’s Why

Vin Méthode Nature is the new official certification for natural wine from France, curated by the ‘Union for Defence of Natural Wines’ – an association of winemakers, merchants and consumers, founded by Loire Valley winemaker – Jacques Carroget.

For an industry that’s built its ethos around rulebreaking, these proposed set of rules definitely seemed to have ruffled a few feathers.

Let’s look at both sides of the argument!


Why Certify

We have entered a world lead by visuals, that means the labels, the bottles, what’s in the wine and of course the wine as a whole are at an all time high with regards to meaningfulness.

If you pay £20+ for a bottle of wine, you would like it to be an authentic bottle first and foremost, secondly, a little clarity on what’s actually in the wine wouldn’t go amiss either.

‘There is a real need for the consumer to have clarification, so that they can have confidence that if a wine is described as natural that it is indeed natural” Jacques Carroget

Photo credit : groundcontrolparis.com by Jose Cañavate Comellas.

It’s transparency that people are rooting for right now (especially the younger generations) , simply put – WE DONT WANT YOUR LIES ANYMORE.

Is that too much to ask for?

So, Why Certify?

Well, because major wine corporations are manipulating the vague rules and regulations of organic winemaking. They’re stuffing their wines with all sorts of chemicals and flavourings, slapping an organic sticker on the bottle, and shifting them for as low as £5.00 a bottle!

WE’RE BEING SOLD LIES.

That’s why a certification is important.

What’s organic about adding an ‘Italian, red wine, dark fruits’ flavouring powder, by the bag load, into a harmless barrel of wine?

What’s authentic about telling the consumer all the grapes have been farmed in an organic manner, when quite clearly they’ve not?

We noticed that some unscrupulous producers and distributors supplied beverages that are very far from natural. Using synthetic chemistry to take commercial advantage of the natural wine trend. Jacques Carroget speaking with Sipadvisor.

The ‘Vin Méthode Nature’ certification means that natural wines from France can be identified clearly for what they are.

Finally, the hard work that the loving vignerons put in on a daily basis can be recognised for what it is.

“It’s also important for winemakers to receive recognition for what they do” Isabelle Perraud, Beaujolais Winemaker


Why Not Certify

Although it seems like a no-brainer decision to make, the ’Vin Méthode Natural’ certification hasn’t met a complete crowd of happy faces, some of the leading faces in the natural wine world have their issues with the certification and I can see why…

Take Doug Wregg for example, he is the sales and marketing director of natural wine importing and distributing company Les Caves de Pyrene.

He believes that growers are individuals who work in their own way and to co-defy that would be ”a bit silly”. Doug’s idea of a beaurocratic body coming together with a list of rules for natural winemakers to follow in order to prove they work naturally does not sit well with the experience natural wine advocate;

”Natural wine is a pulsing, living thing & about the personality of the people who make them & what they do on a day to day basis. It shouldn’t be about following 10 golden rules.”

He makes valid points!

Natural wine journalist and highly accredited author within the wine world, Alice Feiring also seems to agree with Doug on his rule-abiding point –

When we started talking about natural wine 10 years ago it was an ideal, not a rule book.

Alice too makes a valid point which I do agree with, the whole idea of natural wine, in my opinion, to this very day is a philosophy and a way of life. A structured set of rules needn’t define a way of life, but if that way of life, naturally, already follows these rules then is it even a problem to get worked up about in the first place?


Final Thoughts

Certification if anything will give a deserved nod to winemaking professionals in France who make their wine influenced by nothing but nature.

It will also formalise the definition of natural wine for the benefit of consumers. And they’re two good enough reasons for me!

Just a reminder this is an opinion piece that is composed around my personal thoughts and the people’s who have been featured.

If you have an opposing opinion to any of the points discussed today, please I urge you to take the time and personally message me on any form of social media;

Eoghan Neburagho

Natural Swill

@naturalswill @eoghan_nebs

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