September 19, 2021

All tastes are in natural wine

By Stéphane Davet

Posted today at 5:00 p.m.

Long hunted like a mess, the natural has returned at a gallop. The caricature, which confined plain wine to a fad for bobos praising the merits of “gurgling” bowling sparking the pony or the mouse, is now fading in the face of a much more exciting reality.

“When I started, eleven years ago, 5% of my customers had perhaps heard of natural wines. Today, only 1% of them know nothing about it. »Agnès Baracco, from the Au Bon Vingt cellar

These UFOs (unidentified wine objects) turn out to be a fundamental phenomenon carried by an exponential number of winegrowers fleeing the dictates of the agro-industry and relayed by an international community of consumers, wine merchants, journalists, sommeliers as convinced by the ethical approach than by the taste successes. These bottles now offer a diversity capable of appealing to rebels fleeing papa’s jajas as much as to lovers of great wines, pure, straight, expressing their terroir.

“When I started, eleven years ago, 5% of my customers had perhaps heard of natural wines, estimates Agnès Baracco from Au Bon Vingt, a specialist cellar in the 20e district of Paris. Today, only 1% of them know nothing about it. “” Eighteen years ago, we relied on around fifty winegrowers, today we have more than 500 references “, abounds Olivier Cochard, essential organic and natural wine merchant in Rennes, who opened his boutique, Histoires de vins, in 2003. “More than a thousand wineries specializing in or favorable to natural wines now cover the territory”, congratulates Antonin Iommi-Amunategui, author, among others, of the Manifesto for natural wine (Editions de l’Epure, 2015) and editor-in-chief of Glou Guide (Cambourakis), selecting 150 natural wines from “15 euros maximum”.

A market that is growing by 20% to 30% per year

“The boom dates from the mid-2010s”, analysis Tegwen Naveos, owner of the online cellar Pur jus, launched in 2013, consulted monthly by nearly 300,000 readers. “Everyone has had time to educate themselves and the mastery of winegrowers has improved a lot.. The natural wine market is now growing by 20% to 30% per year. ” While that of organic bottles increases annually by 14%, while that of wine in general decreases by 4%. “I could sell three times more than what I produce today”, notes, like other of his colleagues, the Aveyron winegrower Nicolas Carmarans, of which 70% of the 30,000 annual bottles go for export.

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