Friday, December 30, 2011

Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking - by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop MW

I just finished reading the great book - Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking - by Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop MW and I was really pleased with the pragmatic way they discussed such a complex subject. In their own words: " There is no such a thing as natural or unnatural wine; rather, the “naturalness” of a wine is most usefully measured on a continuum from least to most natural and takes in many aspects of the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of the raw material: the grape. "

I intend to post several important points of their book here on my blog and, hopefully, many people will show up to share their opinions. Even better if we can get Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop to come here to add some more content to the discussion!
Probably, this is a good way to ignite the discussion:
" What is meant by the term natural? Is wine different from other alcoholic beverages, and why? Is there such a thing as “fake wine”? What is the appropriate use of technology in winemaking? What additions to wine should be allowed, and who gets to decide? And, practically, how can winemakers adjust their methods to make more honest, expressive, and interesting wines? "

Would you care to offer answers to these questions?

Here are some excerpts from the book. They may help you with the challenge:
  • If we accept the idea of a continuum of naturalness, and if we recognize that it is useful to establish just how natural some wines are when compared with others, then a range of choices become available in the vineyard and winery that will shift the wine in one direction or the other along the naturalness continuum.
  • Winemaking faults are often guilty of masking terroir and, in some cases, becoming so entrenched that they become part of it!
  • Like naturalness, the concept of authenticity is a shifting paradigm, and that there are limits to its application for individuals and business. Larger more hierarchical business have greater limitations, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to make more authentic wines.
  • One person’s idea of progress is another’s idea of iconoclastic trashing of valued traditions.
  • The idea that one can taste the earth in a wine is appealing, a welcome link to nature and place in a delocalized world; it has also become a rallying cry in an increasingly sharp debate over the direction of modern winemaking. The trouble is, it’s not true… 
If you haven't bought your copy yet: 

I look forward to dsicussin with you about this fascinating topic... In the mean time, I wish you a very happy and healthy 2012!
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