At Wine Fellas, these special, nature-friendly wines fall into several categories that can be confusing to understand in today’s wine market:
This is the broadest term, often used to describe wines from small producers, made in modest lots. The grapes for these wines are generally cultivated sustainably or organically and harvested without machinery. The wines are produced largely by hand, and each lot of wine is carefully monitored through every step of the winemaking and aging process.
Sustainable viticulture has the same goals as organic and biodynamic viticulture, with one major difference: it abandons the black-and-white criteria of the organic philosophy for a grayscale of relative value in protecting the environment. A wine made sustainably might include any of the next three designations. Grapes are grown in a way that is ecologically and socially responsible. By using sustainable practices, a grower demonstrates a commitment to the long-term future of the environment, society, and wine-growing. Cheers to that!
This term refers largely to the way a wine’s grapes are grown. Going organic takes hard work, it is more challenging than one would think and should be appreciated by the consumer. Grapes certified as “organic” are grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or artificial fertilizers. GMO products are prohibited. Grapes must be managed using best environmental practices, promoting high levels of biodiversity and respecting animal welfare standards. Further, an organic wine might be made without added sulfites. One should note, small-lot artisanal wines made with less intervention throughout the entirety of the winemaking process are considered more organic in our eyes than other “certified organic” wines. This makes its nearly impossible to pick out unadulterated wine in retail outlets, although largely because wine outlets don't carry a selection. Even if a wine was made from grapes farmed organically, it doesn't necessarily mean the wine was made organically. Notice "Organic Wine" vs "Made with Organic Grapes" on wine labels. The Wine Fellas hand-select every producer we represent rigorously to assure the purist farming & winemaking technique into the cellar and the entirety of production.
The philosophy of biodynamics, developed in the early twentieth century by Rudolf Steiner, is part of a larger movement which holds that all parts of the universe are interconnected as an ecosystem and that humans have the capacity to tap into the universal energy through meditation and mental practice. Biodynamic wines are made from grapes grown organically, with no synthetic interventions; but in addition, biodynamic farming views the vineyard as a dynamic, holistic system, and it includes farming practices that take into account astrology and lunar cycles. Biodynamic wines are some of the most expressive terroir driven wines in the world, just ask Nicolas Joly!
The most stringent classification. The grapes are farmed organically, or biodynamically or the equivalent. The grapes are hand-harvested. There is minimal cellar intervention, no balancing of sugar or acid, no addition of commercial yeast, and minimal or no fining & filtration. If oak treatment is used, it's neutral or minimal (used strictly as a vessel - nothing added, nothing taken), sulfur is minimal or not added, and for Wine Fellas, these wines will be dry, with zero to three grams per liter of residual sugar, for a healthy lifestyle, also to help the body process more easily. Our Natural wines are also vegan and vegetarian friendly as they are unfined & unfiltered. Some wines do see minimal filtration/clarification, only with non-animal natural products.