Vinification

Displaying items by tag: Natural Wine

Wednesday, 05 October 2022 13:10

Sulphites in Wine with Simon J. Woolf

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The use of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), often just referred to as “sulphites”, in winemaking has become a much-debated and even sometimes emotive topic in the 21st century.

Since the advent of readily available SO2 in tablet or powder form, dating back roughly to the 1950s, winemakers have relied on this all-purpose elemental substance for everything from cleaning  barrels to protection against oxidation and its abilities to kill stray yeasts and bacterias. It can seem almost alchemical in its ability to transform a cloudy, off-smelling funk into a estar-bright, fragrant smelling wine.

But in the last few decades with the growth of the natural wine movement, excess use – or sometimes any use – of SO2 has become increasingly frowned on. Some wine drinkers even claim they are intolerant to SO2, and that they can no longer drink conventionally vinifed wines without getting headaches.

This webinar looks at SO2’s properties, and why it is so useful in winemaking. What quantites are typically used, and which rules and regulations govern sulphur use? We will also dig into the science behind the intolerance claims. How many people are really allergic to SO2, and are the normal levels found in wines likely to cause issues or not? And why does just about every bottle of wine on the planet have those words “contains sulphites” on the back – even those made by natural winemakers who claim not to add any?

What are the challenges of making wine when a winemaker decides to minimise or completely do without the use of added SO2? What can go wrong, and how much do we know about the scourge of natural wine known as mousiness?

This session covers the whole spectrum of winemakers and winemaking, looks at the varying attitudes to sulphur usage, and what this ultimately means in terms of the quality and properties of what ends up in your glass.

Presenter: Simon J Woolf

Simon J Woolf is an award-winning English author and wine writer, currently based in The Netherlands.

An acknowledged expert on the developing niche of natural wine, he's written for Decanter magazine, Meininger’s Wine Business International, World of Fine Wine and Noble Rot, and many other publications. Simon is the editor of The Morning Claret, an online wine magazine which specialises in natural, biodynamic, organic and orange wine.

Simon's first book "Amber Revolution - How the world learned to love orange wine" was published in 2018, and won the Roederer Wine book of the year award in 2019. Simon has also won numerous awards for his magazine features and online columns.

Simon travels regularly to countries such as Georgia, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal, where he continues to research the stories and traditions behind artisan winemaking. His second book, Foot Trodden, a collaboration with photographer and wine communicator Ryan Opaz, was published in October 2021. It is described as a journey deep into the soul of Portuguese wine.

Simon is also active as a presenter, editor, wine judge and translator.

Published in Vinification

HAVE YOUR SAY!

Did you enjoy reading the Great Debate on Natural Wines by Simon Woolf and Andrew Jefford? Now it is YOUR chance to HAVE YOUR SAY with our two debaters.

We are following up their written debate with a live one, and encourage you to share your opinion or ask your question directly to Simon and Andrew. No matter what side of the debate you are on, this is the chance for you to make your voice heard on one of the Great Debates of our wine world today.

So take a look at the debate again and share your questions and thoughts. In order to make the most of the live debate, please comment on the Great Debate post on Instagram or Facebook with your question or comment at least three days before the live debate.

If your question or comment is selected, you will be contacted to present it yourself, and of course there will be plenty of chance to post your opinions or ping off further reflections on the day via the chat box.

Get involved and have your say -- Andrew and Simon are looking forward to hearing from you!

READ "The Great Debate: Natural Wine with Andrew Jefford and Simon J Woolf" FULL ARTICLE HERE

Published in Vinification

It's become one of the hippest and most contentious niches in wine, often poorly understood and derided by the more traditional sectors of the wine trade. But what exactly is natural wine? Is it just fault-ridden hipster juice, cloudy and smelling of cider as some claim?
We’ll explore where this movement came from and why winemakers in some parts of the world felt that they had to turn their backs on the establishment, plus how the movement has developed over the last few decades.

How does natural wine overlap with existing certification schemes such as organics and biodynamics? What attempts have there been at certifying or classifying natural wine? We’ll talk about the current state of play, and the detailed definitions that have been proposed for natural wine by various organisations.

Why do natural wines taste, smell and look different? What are the differences in production and philosophy compared to conventional wine? We will of course mention the recent “clean wine” fad and how this relates to natural wine.

A few of the movement’s pioneering winemakers and growers will also be discussed, together with some recommendations for tracking down and enjoying great natural wines from different parts of the wine producing world.

The aim of this webinar is to imbue you with enthusiasm for what can be a fascinating and innovative corner of the wine world, and to help you make sense of the smorgasbord of exciting flavours and aromas to be found in the best natural wines.

Your sense of adventure is the only limit!

PRESENTER: SIMON J WOOLF

Simon J Woolf is an award-winning English wine and drinks writer, currently based in The Netherlands.

An acknowledged expect on the developing niche of natural wine, he contributes regularly to Decanter magazine, Meininger’s Wine Business International, World of Fine Wine and Noble Rot, and many other publications. Simon is the editor of The Morning Claret, an online wine magazine which specialises in natural, biodynamic, organic and orange wine.

Simon's first book "Amber Revolution - How the world learned to love orange wine" was published in 2018, and won the Roederer Wine book of the year award in 2019. Simon has also won numerous awards for his magazine features and online columns. He is currently shortlisted for a Roederer interntional wine columnist award in 2020.

Simon travels regularly to countries such as Georgia, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal, where he continues to research the stories and traditions behind artisan winemaking.
Simon is also active as an editor, wine judge and translator.

WSG members enjoy a discount on Simon's book "Amber Revolution"! Get your coupon code HERE

Published in Vinification

Wine is full of spirited debates, but few can argue that any subject matter generates more intensity these days than natural wine. Should sulphur be allowed or not? Do natural wines reveal terroir better than conventional wines? Has natural wine changed our notion of flaws?

Perhaps most controversial of all is the definition of natural wine in the first place.

These questions are constantly challenging everyone from wine critics and sommeliers to casual students of wine. We decided to bridge the topic with Wine Scholar Guild’s Academic Advisor and long-time columnist for Decanter and World of Fine Wine, Andrew Jefford, as well as Simon J Woolf, the noted natural-wine writer and author of Amber Revolution: How the World Learned to Love Orange Wine.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 29 September 2016 05:00

The Truth About Natural Wines with Alice Feiring

Are natural wines brown and taste like hard cider? 

Lets clear up the myths about natural wine; from birth to glass to now.

Learn the origins, the philosophy and the practice of wines made naturally.

In this 45-minute overview you will understand how the wines evolved, how the word spread and how and why they are changing the industry around us.

We'll go over basic fermentation techniques and their organoleptic impact,  the attitude towards sulfur addition and the difference between market driven and nature driven end results.

Presenter: Alice Feiring

Controversial and feisty, Alice Feiring leads an international debate on wine made naturally. She found her métier in 2001 when she wrote an award-winning article for the New York Times, “For Better or Worse, Winemakers Go High Tech.” Through researching the topic she uncovered a world of flavor and aroma changing additives. “Fraud,” she cried, “Give me my wine back!” And then she went to work.

She has helped to define “natural”, uncovered the abuses of ubiquitous terms like “organic” and provoked her readers to share her concerns and passions. Approaching wine from the ground up, Feiring works much like an anthropologist to respect and preserve what is indigenous to wines and their traditions. From the ancient vines of the Canary Islands to the qvevris of Georgia, she unearths century-old practices. She identifies wine that unlocks culture and heritage, methods that reflect and relate human stories.

An early attention-getting blogger, in 2008, she wrote the influential book, The Battle for Wine and Love: Or How I Saved the World From Parkerization and followed that up with her 2011 Naked Wine, a narrative romp through the history and the personalities of vin naturel. Her latest book, For the Love of Wine, my odyssey through the world’s most ancient wine culture, published March 2016, and is an exploration of the natural wines and wine culture of Georgia. In addition she launched The Feiring Line, the only paid-subscription-based natural wine newsletter, read by drinkers in fifteen different countries.

Alice is the winner of both the James Beard and Louis Roederer Wine Writing Awards. In 2013 she was named Imbibe Magazine’s Wine Person of the Year. In addition to her books, she has published numerous essays on life and love. She is the past wine correspondent for Wall Street Journal Magazine and Time and currently freelances for a never ending parade of publications including The New York Times, Wine & Spirits, World of Fine Wine and Newsweek, among others from her tenement apartment in New York City.

Published in Miscellaneous

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