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I am very glad he cleared the air, so to speak, about sulfur. Bravo!

Nick Gorevic

Who are these drinks business people? This is not the first time they've engaged in shoddy, sensationalist, horrible journalism. That piece they did on Doug Wright was a total hack job.

Nick Gorevic

Oops I meant Doug Wregg.


I was wondering what you meant! Yes, the piece on Doug was disgraceful. They tend to take the Inquirer approach.


Nice post. Thoughtful email.

Brigitte Armenier

All organisms only mature by virtue of integrating the domain of social laws. And it seems that time has now come for this movement to clearly define its understanding of the word "natural": either a jungle for infantile emotions and desires, or a field of controlled instincts. The "Enoteca Bulzoni affair" is in that sense quite revelatory.


The one problem I can see with having a more strict definition for natural wine is who gets to decide on that definition... I've seen some overly strict personal definitions on other sites. Some disallow use of sulfur completely. Others disallow any use of oak barrels. Both can be misused, but disallowing them completely seems an overreaction - as Joly says here with regards to sulfur.


I still hate to see an international set of rules taken for a philosophy, because as I've said before, define and destroy--we will see exactly the farce organics have become. There is a general accepted rule, nothing added, nothing taken away, minimal amounts of S02, none during actual winemaking, organic or better viticulture. An ingredient (and processing note) would be a boon. L'affaire d' Bulzoni,'--which large, venerable house was really behind that one?

Brigitte Armenier

Alice, philosophy is one thing, love and hate another, not to speak of the economic sphere where the vigneron meets the consumer. In defining here three spheres, did I destroy them?
Was Biodynamics destroyed by the Demeter rules? Would you call the Demeter certification process a farce?
Whatever reasons can be linked to the "Enoteca Bulzoni affair," it shows that the word "natural" isn't defined, thus protected. Refusing to develop one's own capacity for inner authority and identity calls for the authoritarian outer intervention.


Unfortunately, as time goes by the Demeter rules will indeed become more of a farce as Biodynamic wine becomes a selling point. And this will happen to natural. Who will be defining? I think wine merchants should forgo the world natural, naturel, natura and just use very low manipulation and no additives and call it a day.

Brigitte Armenier

Alice, how can you present subjective opinions as "indeed" facts to come? Again, was Biodynamics so far destroyed by the Demeter rules? Do you truly think that what the Demeter certification requires is considered as no more than a "farce" from the vignerons?
"Who will be defining?" Well, who defined the Demeter rules?
Are the vignerons from the "natural" movement children or parents of the word? Will they use it with endless undefined claims? Or will they come to the inner maturity able to name, limit, define, give directions and protect?


100ppm for sulfur allowed by Demeter is way too high, yet some of their members are saying this is not enough to make a good wine. With more industrial people making 'biodynamic' wine they are already putting pressure to dumb down the rules. Look what happened with the EU's organic wine? That's kind of rubbish. Plenty of complaints in Europe about no adequate vineyard checks to see what kind of treatments are being used in the vineyard. And anyway, as you've said to me, there is no Biodynamic wine, just Biodynamic viticulture, or am I misremembering?

Does anything stay pure? As things grow in popularity don't they, (indeed) get watered down? Is this not simply the way of the world? And who is going to declare themselves 'leaders' of the natural wine movement? There are people who belong to the AVN and Vin Nature. They have a code. Is that not enough?

I don't have the answers. But I do have plenty of questions.

Brigitte Armenier

Yes, perfection is never achieved. Yes, there is no Biodynamic wine, only Biodynamic viticulture. But Alice, if adding a question mark to a statement makes it a question, then:
how pure is "pure"? Will a true maturity lead to senility, or to wisdom? Is in any way Demeter ruled by leaders? Is the AVN code the official regulation?

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I'm hunting the Leon Trotskys, the Philip Roths, the Chaucers and the Edith Whartons of the wine world. I want them natural and most of all, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue. With this messiah thing going on, I'm trying to swell the ranks of those who crave the differences in each vintage, celebrate nuance and desire wines that make them think, laugh, and feel. Welcome.

And, if you'd like a signed copy of either THE BATTLE FOR WINE AND LOVE OR HOW I SAVED THE WORLD FROM PARKERIZATION or NAKED WINE, feel free to contact me directly.