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    The Definition of Natural Wine & France’s Vin Méthode Nature

    Why is it that Portugal tends to get pigeonholed as just Port wine, or cheap Vinho Verde? This small but important European wine nation offers a huge diversity of wine styles across the whole length of the country. The vineyards span an incredible variety of differing climates and terroirs, and teem with fascinating indigenous grape varieties.

    What’s old is new in Portugal – many ancestral winemaking methods have not just survived, but are growing in popularity again. Fashion has caught up with Portugal, as wine consumers around the world crave greater authenticity and sense of place in their wines. Portugal offers these qualities in spades, with many interesting and unique styles.

    We’ll look at some key Portuguese wine concepts: the importance of the field blend, why foot treading grapes is the best method of extraction there is, and why making wine in clay pots is having a renaissance in Alentejo and elsewhere. Plus a brief guide to some of the country’s more important indigenous grape varieties.

    You’ll discover many of Portugal’s lesser known gems, along with some of its more famous still wines. The regions covered will include:

    • Vinho Verde- so much more than just a simple fizzy quaffer
    • Douro – there’s a new breed of winemakers taking this region’s still wines in a new direction
    • Bairrada – not just sparkling wines, but innovative winemakers who are taming Baga
    • Dão – the forgotten heart of Portugal, boasting amazing field blends and classical wines built for ageing.
    • Lisboa & Ribatejo – a powerhouse of young winemaking talent with fresh whites and reds
    • Colares – unique wines that age forever, but vineyards that nearly succumbed to property development
    • Alentejo – the renaissance of talha winemaking and the rise of more artisanal producers and diverse styles

    NOTE: This webinar will not cover fortified wines (Port, Madeira, Carcavelos) or the islands of Madeira and Azores

    Presenter: Simon J Woolf

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

    An acknowledged expect 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, a collaboration with photographer and wine communicator Ryan Opaz, will be published in October 2021. "Foot Trodden" is described as a journey deep into the soul of Portuguese wine.

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

    WSG members enjoy a discount on Simon's new book "Foot Trodden - Portugal and the wines that time forgot"! Get your coupon code HERE to pre-order the book

    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