France gives official recognition to natural wines
Natural wine is now a recognised category in France under the name "vin methode nature".
The term is now recognised by the National Institute for Origins and Quality (INAO), the French Ministry for Agriculture and the French Fraud Control Office.
Producers have reportedly spent a decade requesting approval for the new “vin methode nature” and now the newly-created Natural Wines Union will oversee the criteria wines must meet for the new designation and they will also screen bottles to ensure they follow the rules.
To be able to add the new logo to a label, a wine has to be made with grapes hand-picked from certified organic vines and the product must be fermented with indigenous yeast. Thre are also strict rules about the production methods.
There are also two different types of natural wine label, one of which refers to natural wines without sulphites (vine methode nature sans sulphites ajoutes) and the other which allows up to 30 miligrams per litre.
The new labels will be subject to a three-year trial and will only apply to wines from Europe, but it is expected that many will start using this new label this year.