Vegan-style wine is not futuristic, it is current. The Bordeaux region is particularly well known and appreciated for its wines. Vineyards have always diversified to offer frank flavours and original concepts. In short, offer a unique experience to lovers of good wines. To do this, winemakers are developing new wine ranges: biodynamic, vegan, organic. Products that respect the vineyards and the land, to delight the palates of consumers.
The natural wine, the promise of a unique tasting
Many Bordeaux vineyards are starting to develop new wine ranges, more respectful of the vine. This is the case, for example, of Château Pré La Lande, founded by Michel Baucé and Jean-Luc Butez. Born from the appellation AOC Sainte Foy Côtes de Bordeaux, Château Pré La Lande aims to produce great wines. Wines that meet a goal: respect the vines, the land as well as the people.
Indeed, this Château wants to preserve the traditional values of wine culture. But the most dear wish of winemakers is to create a virtuous viticulture. The care given to the vines, and the choice of a respectful crop without products are solid indicators. Turning to organic and biodynamic wines allows you to grow healthier and more resistant grapes. A way forward, given the climatic vagaries of recent years, which have disrupted sales and harvests.
It is becoming common for wine estates that produced traditional wines to turn to organic wine culture. Indeed, the evolution of the consumption of organic wines has exploded since 2012 in France. In 2012, the French consumed 52 million bottles of organic wine per year, up from 112 million in 2017. Forecasts for 2022 estimate that interest in these wines will continue to grow, with 200 million bottles consumed. In addition to being a major consumer, France also produces more organic wines than before. Soil remediation takes time. However, estimates indicate that by 2023, certified organic surfaces in France will have increased by 76% compared to 2020. The French want to consume products that are more respectful of nature. In a region like Bordeaux, the cultivation of organic and biodynamic wines makes sense.
A more respectful wine with well-known flavours
With the advent of organic wines, winemakers are also turning to the production of “vegan” wines. As with food products, this means wines made without the use of animal products. Indeed, in traditional viticulture, egg white is used for collage. This step involves coagulating the suspended particles in the wine to remove them. This makes the wine clearer and better to drink. To make it a vegan wine, winemakers use other products, such as vegetable pea powder. This is what Château Pré La Lande uses, for example. In addition, they no longer solicit horses to plough in the vineyards.
The evolution of the wine culture is also changing their design. Sulphite, or sulphur, is used at many stages of winemaking. It not only allows to have an antiseptic action, but also an antioxidant role. With the arrival of organic and biodynamic wines, sulphite levels are reduced. Château Pré La Lande offers wines with a very low level of sulphite (less than 20 mg/L). One of its vintages, the Fontenelles cuvée, has zero levels of sulphite.
Giving visibility to organic and vegan wines in Bordeaux
The image of these new wines is also worked. Indeed, to make them discover and make consumers want, Châteaux offers them attractive visuals. This allows both to differentiate itself from the labels of traditional wines and to affirm the identity of these new wines. This is the case, for example, with the organic wines of Château Loudenne. With its Loudenne Les Jardins range, it showcases its culture of organic wines. With a red wine, a rosé wine and a white wine, the range has the weapons to seduce all wine lovers. More herbicides to respect the vines, a care given to the cultivation of the artisan, like Château Pré La Lande, Château Loudenne wants to make appreciate organic wine.
In Bordeaux, organic wine is beginning to take its place, especially at fairs dedicated to it. This is the case of the Vini Bio show, the first edition of which took place on 14, 15 and 16 June 2019. The second edition, originally scheduled for April, is postponed from 19 to 21 June 2020 in view of the current situation. An appointment where winemakers come to present their organic and biodynamic wines. From the first edition, more than 50 winemakers participated, some of them in the process of conversion. Encouraging figures, which, based on short-term projections, are expected to grow further.
For organic, biodynamic and vegan wine producers, the challenge is daunting. Make their place in a market where traditional wine still has a big place. Small producers are asking for our support to promote their wines. It is with this in mind that initiatives are created to help and support them. Like the group initiated by AOW Group, led by Charles De Donder, which has more than 40 references to date. So that all together, they can be put forward in the same way as the greatest appellations, but accessible to all…
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