Natural, biodynamic, organic - what's the difference?

Natural, biodinamic and organic wines are becoming more and more popular, but only few people know how these wines are actually made and what are the main differences between them.
Natural, biodynamic, organic - what's the difference?

Let's start with the one made with minimal intervention, without additives or containing only a very small amount of added sulfur, which is also the most natural among natural wines:

Natural wines:

  • The grapes come from an organic or biodynamic wineyards and are harvested by hand.
  • No additives are used during processing and winemaking, "We don't add anything, we don't take anything away".
  • Any technological intervention that would have a negative effect on the quality of the wine or lead to the change of it’s natural character is avoided.
  • No must cleaning, use of barrique barrels, no filtering or clarification.
  • The wine that goes into the bottle contains 0 of the almost 250 types of additives allowed by conventional wineries, except for a small amount of sulphur, maximum 30 mg/l. Although many winemakers do not use sulphur. (We note here that the wine law allowes the sulfur content of conventional dry wines at maximum 200mg/l.)

Biodynamic wines:

The creator of biodynamics was Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and scientist, who places the rules of agricultural production on a much wider horizon, treating the living environment as a compact unit, with the human who is part of it, taking into account the positions of planets. After permaculture or wild-grown grapes, this is the most natural process – the environmental impact is negligible compared to conventional plantations.

  • The farm must make itself fertile and productive with its own raw materials, compost, preparations, and teas, achieving as much diversity as possible in the living world.
  • After three years of organic cultivation, winery can apply for the Demeter trademark , which is granted by Demeter Internacional in Germany.
  • In the case of various work processes, the position of the moon is definitely taken into account.
  • Only 15 types of additives and auxiliary materials are permitted during winemaking, out of a allowed 250 by law.
  • Plastic containers are not used during wine aging, only in the short term, during racking.
  • The total sulfur content of biodynamic wines can be 90 mg/l for white wines and 70 mg/l for red wines.

Organic wines:

One huge step in right direction. Compared to conventional production, even the application of integrated plant protection reduces the environmental burden, but organic farming creates significantly better conditions in the vineyard. Grapes can develop togetherwith a richer, more diverse wildlife, grown in a sustainable manner.

  •  The use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and systemics in the vineyard is prohibited, but insecticides with a 24-hour effect are permitted.
  • Organic wine can only be made from grapes from organic farming.
  • Of the 250 types of additives and auxiliary materials allowed for conventional wineries, only 36 types can be used.
  • Filtering and clarification are allowed.
  • Instead of the maximum possible amount of sulfur of 200 mg/l allowed by the law, the total amount of sulfur allowed is 150 mg/l for organic white wines and 100 mg/l for red wines.
Natural, biodynamic, organic - what's the difference?
Natural, biodynamic, organic - what's the difference?
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