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French winegrowers want to launch wines with the new, official category designation "vin méthode nature" for the first time in 2020. After ten years of negotiations, the "Natural Wines Union", the French Ministry of Agriculture, the "Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité" (INAO) and other approval authorities agreed last year on a definition of the production conditions. With the 2020 vintage, a three-year test phase is now starting. The term "natural wine" is prohibited by EU regulations.

Wines in the new categories may only be produced from grapes harvested by hand from organic vineyards with spontaneous fermentation. During production, cellar techniques such as reverse osmosis, heating of the must, crossflow filtration or HTST pasteurisation are also prohibited. If sulphur is used, the bottle must be marked with its own label. The maximum level is 30 mg per litre.

The first grapes for these wines were harvested last autumn in the Loire. More than 100 French winegrowers want to market wines in this category, plus companies in Italy and Spain.

(uka / Photo: German Wine Institute)

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