organic wine, biodynamic wine and natural wine, what is the difference ?


Organic wine, biodynamic wine, natural wine... these names are often used in wine articles, but they are not always well explained. So let's take a look at these different categories of wine and their differences.

What is organic wine?

An organic wine is a wine that carries the organic farming label. The green and white AB logo is usually shown on the label. To be able to display the label on his products, the winegrower must comply with the organic specifications, both for the cultivation of the vines and the wine-making process. The AB label guarantees low-input agriculture and a strictly limited use of synthetic chemicals.

What is a biodynamic wine?

A biodynamic wine is a further step in the idea of a wine made without chemical intervention during vine cultivation and vinification. Prevention rather than cure, protection rather than care, accompaniment rather than intervention, this is the credo of the winegrowers who work in biodynamics. The winegrower practices an agriculture that is very attached to natural cycles.

For biodynamics, as for organic farming, labels exist, attesting that the winegrowers respect a specific set of specifications. But among the winegrowers who have chosen this path, there are many who do not have a label.

What is a natural wine?

The term "natural wine" is not regulated. There are no official specifications or certification. As a result, everyone interprets the term in their own way. Winegrowers who claim to make "natural" wines generally work on the vinification (in the cellar) without inputs, but still allow themselves the addition of sulphites, in small quantities.

A natural wine is therefore not necessarily a wine without added sulphites! To be sure you are buying a wine with no added sulphites, it is best to check the information on the label or back label and the product description.

What is the difference between organic andi biodynamic?

To be biodynamic, the wine must first be organic. Biodynamics goes further than organic in the sense that the philosophy of the work of the vine is in line with the great natural cycles, notably the solar and lunar cycles.

The level of sulphites allowed in the wines is also lower in biodynamic than in organic.

What is the difference between organic and natural?

Although the term "natural wine" is not regulated at all, it generally includes a winemaking process without inputs, with the use of sulphites added in smaller quantities than for an organic wine.

Organic wine is subject to regulated and controlled specifications, whereas no framework is given to natural wine, and any winemaker can claim to produce natural wines.

What is the difference between biodynamic and natural?

Biodynamics is based on a philosophy in which the winemaker takes into consideration the natural balance of the plant in its environment (the soil and the earth). The term "natural wine" is not official and in practice covers various realities, both in the work of the vine and in the work of vinification and maturation.

Sulphites in organic and biodynamic wines

The winemaker can add "sulphur" or more precisely sulphites during the winemaking and bottling process in order to guarantee the stability of the wine. For organic wines, the authorised sulphite thresholds are lower than for traditionally vinified wines. This permitted sulphite level is even lower for biodynamic wines, where the spirit is to accompany the vine and the wine.

Are you wondering why there are sulphites in wine? It should be noted that sulphites are naturally present in wine. When we speak of sulphur-free wines or wines without sulphites, we should more accurately speak of wines without added sulphites.