‘Natural wine’ legally recognised in France as Vin méthode nature

Jacopo Mazzeo

Jacopo Mazzeo

26 March 2020

France’s National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), which regulates French wine denominations, the General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), and the Nature’l wine association, have established ‘Vin méthode nature’ as the official labeling term for what has been thus far commonly known as ‘natural wine’.

The new labeling term is the result of a proposal issued by Nature’l, a union of natural wine producers convinced that the term ‘natural wine’ is often being improperly used.

The charter features 12 rules producers need to abide by to be allowed the use of ‘Vin méthode nature’ on their labels.

According to the charter, Vin méthode nature wines will have to:

  1. Be made with certified organic grapes
  2. Be made with hand-harvested grapes
  3. Fermented with indigenous yeast
  4. Contain no additives
  5. No voluntary modification of the constitution of the grape is allowed
  6. No use of ‘traumatic’ techniques such as reverse osmosis, filtrations, flash pasteurisation, thermovinification…
  7. Contain no added sulphites (sans sulfites ajoutés) or a maximum 30mg/l of SO2 (<30mg/l de sulphites ajoutés)
  8. When exhibiting at fairs, winemakers are encouraged to present the charter alongside the bottles
  9. Bottles must show the correct logo (pictured below)
  10. Producers must provide Nature’l with a Vin méthode nature auto-certification on a yearly basis
  11. Whereas both Vin méthode nature and conventional wines are produced, these must be clearly distinguishable
  12. Vin méthode nature producers commit their details to be made public online by the association

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