Celebrate Real Wine Month at The Good Wine Shop
Posted on April 01 2014
This April is Real Wine month – a celebration of organic, biodynamic and natural wines – and so we’ll be promoting some of our favourite real wines at both Chiswick and Kew with tastings and discounts. Fortunately, as well as being respectful of their surroundings many of these wines are also lovely to drink. Read on for some of my suggestions…
But what is Real Wine? At its most basic level, Real Wine is wine made in small quantities from organic (or biodynamic) grapes with as little human intervention in the wine making as possible. Broadly speaking, it can be broken into three categories: organic, biodynamic and natural, and though they have their differences all aim to make good wine from good grapes grown in a manner that respects the vineyard environment and traditional methods.
Organic wines focus on the vineyard environment, encouraging biodiversity and respect for the land. Fertilisers, pesticides and the like are forbidden and the soil will be full of bacteria, worms and other insects that result in valuable nutrients and minerals that help vines become stronger, healthier and disease-resistant. Two to try: Getariako Bengoetxe, Tkakoli, Spain, 2011, Delinea 300 Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2011.
Biodynamic wines do everything that organic wines do while also adhering to the ideas of Austrian philosopher, scientist and proto-hippy Rudolf Steiner. Essentially, man is only part of a larger cycle in which every organism contributes to the wellbeing of its environment and has a responsibility for the biodiversity and health of the vineyard. Further requirements include spraying and composting the vines with a variety of natural compounds such as horsetail (the plant!), camomile and quartz. Two to try: Cuvée Albert Pinot Gris, Albert Mann, Alsace, 2012, Foradori, Teroldego, Trentino, 2010.
While organic and biodynamic wines are legal classifications that a producer must earn and apply for, natural wines have no official definition and so vary from winemaker to winemaker. Most follow organic or biodynamic practices but extend the philosophy into winemaking so that any additives or alterations such as filtration, acidification or cultured yeasts are strictly forbidden. Two to try: Pierre Frick Riesling, Alsace, 2004, I Vigneri Etna Rosso, Sicily, 2011.
For a more in depth explanation of real wine check out Ronan Sayburn MS’s article here, don’t miss the chicken analogy!
Throughout April we will be offering the case discount for single bottles of many of our real wines. The wines will be marked on the shelves and will save you up to 15% off. We’ll also be holding a real wine tasting weekend at both shops from 5pm on Friday 11 April through Saturday 12 and Sunday 13.
Images courtesy of The Real Wine Fair.