A far-right politician in France is campaigning for a legal definition of natural wine

A member of one of France’s far-right political parties is trying to launch a consultation which will create a blueprint for a legal definition of natural wines.

In a proposal submitted to the National Assembly earlier this month, Marie Franche-Lorho — a member of far-right French party Ligue du Sud — said there is “a historic French will” to produce and maintain a certain standard for wines “produced via healthy methods that respect the vineyards and the earth.”

Natural, organic and low-intervention wines have grown in popularity in recent years, but producers and critics warn that natural wines suffer from a negative reputation because of a lack of regulation. Critics such as US-born Robert Parker have gone as far as calling natural wines, which are traditionally made with organically grapes and without sulphites, an “undefined scam“.

“The definitions are multiple,” Franche-Lorho’s statement said “which does not protect the 500 French winemakers considered as natural producers.”

Her proposal outlines a number of criteria producers may need to meet to be able to call their wines “natural” on labels. These range from manual harvesting and using indigenous yeasts, to restricting the use of sulphites at different ranges for red and white wines, as well as an “organic or biodynamic culture in the vineyard.”

The document draws on regulations already implemented by France’s Natural Wines Association (AVN)

The right-wing politician cited the 1907 Anti-Chaptalisation Act — which restricted prodocers’ ability to add sugar to wine grapes to increase alcohol content — as a precedent for French winemakers’ desire to “defend natural wines.”

If the motion is approved, a 30-strong committee will be tasked with creating a legal definition for the category.

Natural wine, it said, should differ from organic wines as the category “extends its “natural” ambition to the entire production process: during planting, tillage, care of the vines, harvesting, vinification, ageing and bottling.”

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: the UK government plans to discuss further restrictions with hospitality leaders, a new meal kit platform prepares to launch, and chef Jack Stein renews his partnership with St Austell.  

Biden their time: Belgian bar lifts boycott on American whiskey

A Belgian bar that made headlines worldwide after boycotting American whiskey and Coca-Cola has announced that it will lift the ban now Donald Trump is no longer president.

9,930 licensed premises lost in UK last year

The coronavirus pandemic led to the permanent closure of 9,930 licensed premises last year, according to a recent report from CGA and AlixPartners.

HK cocktail bars offer lunch amid fourth pandemic wave

With bars across Hong Kong closed due to the current Covid-19 restrictions in the territory, some cocktail bars have started serving food instead.

Hospitality for Heroes launches cookbook

Hospitality for Heroes, a not-for-profit initiative that has provided over 100,000 meals for the NHS since the start of the pandemic, has launched a cookbook. 

Most Recent Stories

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: the UK government plans to discuss further restrictions with hospitality leaders, a new meal kit platform prepares to launch, and chef Jack Stein renews his partnership with St Austell.  

Biden their time: Belgian bar lifts boycott on American whiskey

A Belgian bar that made headlines worldwide after boycotting American whiskey and Coca-Cola has announced that it will lift the ban now Donald Trump is no longer president.

9,930 licensed premises lost in UK last year

The coronavirus pandemic led to the permanent closure of 9,930 licensed premises last year, according to a recent report from CGA and AlixPartners.

HK cocktail bars offer lunch amid fourth pandemic wave

With bars across Hong Kong closed due to the current Covid-19 restrictions in the territory, some cocktail bars have started serving food instead.

Hospitality for Heroes launches cookbook

Hospitality for Heroes, a not-for-profit initiative that has provided over 100,000 meals for the NHS since the start of the pandemic, has launched a cookbook.