The main difference between natural wine and organic wine is that some organic wines may use additives and fining agents, while natural wines do not contain any additives.
Both natural wine and organic wine follow the natural way of growing grapes and winemaking. The grapes used for these wines are not sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and do not use artificial fertilizers. All natural wines are organic wines, but not all organic wines are natural wines.
Key Areas Covered
Natural Wine, Organic Wine
What is Natural Wine
Natural wine, as its name suggests, refers to wine made from unadulterated fermented grape juice and nothing else. In fact, there are no globally accepted definitions or agreed-upon characteristics for this wine. Some also call it low-intervention wine, naked wine, or raw wine.
Natural wine is made on a small scale using traditional, natural winemaking techniques. Winemaking has two basic processes: growing and picking grapes and turning them into wine via fermentation. Natural wine is made with grapes that are not sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Winemakers also handpick the grapes to make natural wine instead of relying on machines. When it comes to the second process, i.e., converting grapes into wine, makers of natural wine use native yeast to initiate natural fermentation. They don’t use any additives like sugar, acid, and fake oak flavor.
You can store natural wine in the same way as other types of wines – away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature. Once you open a bottle, the wine may actually last longer than conventional wines. Most natural wines will hold their own in the refrigerator for days or even weeks.
What is Organic Wine
Organic wine is a wine produced from grapes grown in accordance with principles of organic farming. Therefore, organic winemaking excludes the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and artificial chemical fertilizers. Organic winemaking has to meet strict legal requirements involving pesticide use, land management, preservation, and storage.
But these requirements may vary from region to region. For example, legal requirements concerning organic wine production in the US are different from those of European countries. In the US, organic products cannot include additional sulfites, but Europe allows adding sulfites to organic wine. Sulfite is a preservative and stabilizer common in conventional winemaking. Sulfites help to make sure the taste of the drink remains consistent. According to US and Canada guidelines, organic wine should not exceed 100 ppm (parts per million) and 150ppm for red and white wines, respectively. Generally, we can identify the organic wine bottles from the labels “Organic,” “Made with Organic Grapes,” or “Biodynamic.” Moreover, organic wines are usually certified by a licensed third-party organization.
Difference Between Natural Wine and Organic Wine
Natural wine is wine made from unadulterated fermented grape juice and nothing else, while organic wine is a wine produced from grapes grown in accordance with principles of organic farming.
Natural wines do not contain additives or preservatives, while some organic wines contain sulfites.
There are no legal requirements or standards for natural wine production, but there are several legal standards or requirements in organic wine production, and these may differ from country to country. Natural wines do not require any certification, but organic wine should be certified by a licensed third-party organization to use the label ‘organic.’
Natural wine uses natural and minimalistic winemaking techniques, while organic wine does not necessarily use the same minimalistic winemaking technique as natural wine.
The main difference between natural wine and organic wine is that some organic wines may use additives and fining agents, while natural wines do not contain any additives. Moreover, natural wines do not require any legal certification, but organic wine should be certified by a licensed third-party organization to use the label ‘organic.’
1. Bull, Mariane. “Natural wine explained.” VOX.
2. Miguelez, Caroline. “What Is Organic Wine, Exactly—and Is It Better for You Than Regular Wine?” Martha Stewart.