Is there an official natural wine certification?
Natural wine certification does not exist as a universally recognized and official designation. However, there are various organizations and movements that promote and advocate for the production of natural wines, and some of these may provide a form of certification or labeling.
A natural wine is typically defined as a wine made with minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery, using organic or biodynamic farming methods and spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts. The lack of strict regulations and definitions for natural wines has led to some confusion and controversy in the industry, and some producers may misuse the term to market their wines.
One of the most well-known organizations promoting natural wine is Les Coteaux Natur'elles, a French association of natural wine growers and traders. Les Coteaux Natur'elles operates a certification program based on specific criteria for vineyard management, winemaking, and labeling, and provides a label for certified natural wines.
Another movement that supports the principles of natural wine is RAW Wine, a global fair and festival that showcases natural, organic, and biodynamic wines from independent producers. RAW Wine also provides a guide and directory of natural wine producers and events, and collaborates with local partners to organize tastings and workshops.
In addition to these initiatives, there are also wine critics, sommeliers, and journalists who specialize in natural wine and write about their experiences and recommendations. Some of them have developed their own rating systems, such as the low intervention wine (LIWF) classification, which evaluates the degree of intervention in the vineyard and winery, and the organic, biodynamic, and natural (OBN) scale, which considers the sustainability of the wine production process.
It is important to note that there is no official certification for natural wines, and that the criteria and standards used by different organizations may vary. Consumers should be aware of these differences and do their own research and tasting to determine their personal preferences and opinions on natural wines.
In conclusion, while there is no universal natural wine certification, there are various initiatives and resources available to help consumers understand and appreciate the principles and practices of natural wine. Whether you are a wine lover, a connoisseur, or a skeptic, exploring the world of natural wine can be a fun, educational, and sensory journey that challenges your palate and expands your horizons.