Michel Chapoutier Pours Cold Water on Natural Winemaking
Legendary winemaker Michele Chapoutier, not known for his shyness, says that the practice of natural winemaking – that is, using no sulphur dioxide to stabilise the wines – is a con. He goes on to refer to natural winemakers as out-of-touch hippies from another world making defective wines.
It is rubbish, he says, like making bad vinegar. How can anyone allow toxic yeasts to develop that so inhabit the wine?’
It’s extraordinarily indefensible to claim that it’s ok to make wine with defects because past growers were doing the same and that’s good or natural. Those old wines had defects because people lacked the tools and means to do otherwise.
Natural winemaking is a hot topic these days, continuing to stir debate and controversy.