City of Wine: Natural wine, what makes your taste buds shudder?

Natural Wine, what difference does it offer that other wines do not offer? Technically, this status does not exist, but some vineyards offer the purest possible wines. A natural wine is a wine that contains no input, sulphite or added sulfur, in order to focus on the heart of the product: the grape. A gamble that is both technical and difficult to achieve, but which seems to appeal to more and more consumers. On November 6, 2020, the Cité de Vin, the emblem of Bordeaux, offers a deciphering of the identity of natural wine. The opportunity to discover this wine so different, with natural flavors. (1)

Wine au naturel, is it possible?

Natural wine, unlike traditional wines, has a very low sulphur content: 30 mg/litre. It also contains no added sulphite or inputs. Inputs are permitted to be added to a vat during winemaking. If the winemakers add them, it is for a good reason. Indeed, sulphites and sulphur have an antioxidant and antiseptic effect on wine. In addition, they help to make the wine more resistant to the alteration caused by oxygen in the air… and thus to retain all its aromas. (2)

Organic wines, on the other hand, allow the use of inputs, but less importantly than for traditional wines. This type of wine culture, recent, seduces and gains ground every year on the land of Bordeaux wine. Finally, biodynamic wine pays attention to the moon cycle to produce the best possible grape. This, by combining natural treatments with the plants with the soil, so that it is as healthy as possible.

Thus, the Cité de Vin wishes to highlight natural wine through the eyes of lawyers, anthropologists, but also specialist winemakers. The event “Vin, Law and Health” meets for the 9th edition, and offers exchanges open to all around the material and legal identity of this wine. A particular wine, which is gaining notoriety. Some estates, such as Château Meylet (3) in Saint-Emilion, or Château Pénin in Genissac, offer wines without any sulphur additions. Wines considered “natural”, to the delight of amateurs, fond of these “pure” wines.

This ability to produce good wines by adding no elements during winemaking demonstrates the know-how and technicality of these areas.

Tasting red wine glass
Wine is a must: on the tables of restaurants, directly at the producers…

Natural wine, what to make shudder in the trade war?

In the world, wine is renowned and appreciated. In homes, on restaurant tables, but also directly at the producer’s, the wine is unstoppable. France and the Bordeaux region, renowned in the world for the quality of their production, nevertheless face stiff competition. Indeed, many countries also produce their wine, and the commercial sphere impacts French exports. At the Cité du Vin, on November 17 at 7 p.m., the Harvest of Knowledge takes place. The question, “Will the trade war sink the French wine industry?” turns out to be topical. Indeed, it is impossible not to mention the US tax on tariffs, or Brexit. Hong Kong, also a wine lover from Bordeaux, consumes less. At issue is the political crisis that the country has been going through since mid-2018. The rise of Australian and Chilean wines is further widening this gap.

These events have important consequences for French exports, especially for wine. In order to remain competitive and attractive in the face of an international market that is starting to produce its wines, France must therefore innovate. It is for this reason that the natural wine offered by some estates offers a glimmer of hope for the future of Bordeaux wine. Bordeaux producers agree on their commitment to offer healthier products, respecting the soil and people. Thus, wine evolves and offers new experiences for consumers… A possible opening to revive a market started by international crises?

In the meantime, without being too afraid, you can always come in disguise between October 30 and November 1, 2020 at the City of Wine. All disguised visitors receive a discounted entry, which is 20% off. All this, not to mention coming masked!


  1. Press release – Cité du Vin – In November at the Cité du Vin: an offer to shudder and 2 new appointments to savour – 26 October 2020
  2. Wine Book – What are the differences between organic, natural and biodynamic wine?
  3. Château Meylet site
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