Natural wine logos and labels
There is an unnecessarily wide array of overlapping and misleading labels and logos available to the natural or semi-natural winemaker, and many of the most natural wines carry no label at all.
Until the EU introduces proper labelling for wine, this is how the situation will stay.
AB (Agriculture Biologique)
These two logos mean exactly the same thing.
One is the EU community logo and the other is the official organic label of the French ministry of agriculture.
Either can be used by a producer who has been certified by one of the six certification bodies approved by the ministry.
On a bottle of wine, either one is a guarantee that the grapes from which the wine is made are organically grown, and of nothing else. AB wines are subject to no specific restrictions in their vinification.
Nature&Progrès is an association of organic producers and consumers.
To use its logo on a wine, a member must have organic certification for his grapes and follow the Nature&Progrès rule-book on vinification.
Nature&Progrès recommends, but does not require, that grapes are hand–picked and fermented with their own yeasts.
It allows chaptalisation (adding sugar to increase the level of alcohol) up to one percent, fining (with organic egg-white or bentonite), and, in certain circumstances, the use of tartaric acid to adjust acidity.
Permitted levels of sulphur dioxide are about half those allowed under EU law.
The French arm of Demeter has two levels of classification for wine.
Both types carry the same logo and it is only by reading the label carefully that they can be told apart.
vin issu de raisons Demeter
These are wines made from biodynamically certified grapes but not subject to any restrictions in their vinification.
These are wines made from biodynamically certified grapes and vinified according to Demeter rules.
The rules governing the production of vin Demeter are stricter than those for Nature&Progrès.
The grapes must be hand-picked, but can be fermented with foreign yeasts. Chaptalisation is permitted only in sparkling white wines, fining only with biodynamic egg-white or bentonite. Some filtration is also allowed.
Permitted levels of sulphur dioxide are slightly lower than for Nature&Progrès, and about half those allowed under in EU law.
Very few producers are currently approved to produce vin Demeter and the vast majority of wines with the Demeter logo are of the first type.
The Syndicat international des vignerons en culture bio-dynamique is an association of French biodynamic winemakers, most of whom are not Demeter members.
Wines carrying their Biodyvin logo must be made from biodynamic grapes and are certified by ECOCERT. The mark is also intended as a guarantee of quality : all Biodyvin wines are tasted and approved by SIVCBD.
Biodyvin wines will have to conform to a set of rules on vinification once these have been finalised. They are expected to be more lenient than those for vin Demeter.