Harriett Gifford is a freelance writer based in Paris, specializing in biodynamic and natural wine. After studying Classics at Kings College London, she moved to Paris to study wine management at Le Cordon Bleu. She has since worked for Champagne Fleury, running their cave à vin in Paris, alongside writing for magazines such as Pipette, The Wine Zine, Penticton Pacific and orange peel magazine.
For over a century, the unanimity of the Champagne region has been called into question. Separated by departmental lines (départements being administrative regions in France), the Côte des Bar in the southern Aube department was often considered as that distant cousin who always embarrasses themselves at parties. The big houses of “mainland” Champagne in the northern Marne department did indeed buy loads of grapes from
The term natural wine conjures a plethora of reactions. To some it symbolizes a cultural movement towards honest winemaking, to others it is merely a fad for funky wines. The term is as vague as it is vast.
There are some who believe natural should refer only to zero-zero wines (wines that have no added sulfites and apply a minimalist winemaking approach). However, the term is more generally understood as an umbrella status which encompasses any wine made with an attention to the ecosystem and biodiversity, low intervention vinification, and an authentic representation of terroir.