Fraud and Lies Continue in the Natural Wine Community
An open letter to Italian wine publisher Gambero Rosso (which earlier published a scathing and largely unfair diatribe against “natural wine”) by a group of Italian “natural wine” producers offended by being attacked in its pages, reveals that these “natural wine” producers understand the fraud that they are perpetuating.:
“We are the first to acknowledge that there is no wine that is completely and exclusively “natural” and that wine is a product of culture, the fruit of interaction between man and nature. Perhaps the term “artisanal” is better suited to our ideas: wine should be the fruit of choices made by those who work in the vineyards and those who transform the grapes into wine.”
Jeremy Parzen provides a translation of the entire letter at his Do Bianchi blog.
It turns out that at least this set of Italian “natural wine” producers understand that the wines they think are unique are not what they label them: natural. They understand that they are better described as “artisanal” and they say so. But why don’t they adopt this umbrella term to describe what they are doing with their vines and wines? Besides the fact that it doesn’t have the marketing value of the term “natural”, there are certainly other reasons.
One of those other reasons is also exposed in their Open Letter to Gambero Rosso. The term “artisanal” doesn’t lend itself nearly as well as “natural” to supporting their extraordinarily ugly and offensive assertion that all but their own wines are health threats. Read this:
“And yet, the more substances that are added, the less the wine is spontaneous and digestible. This is what’s happening today: many wine drinkers and lovers — perhaps tired of the “obssession with the best wine there is” and the “obsession with the best vintage of the century” — shift away from the most manipulated wines and move instead toward more spontaneous products that don’t give you a headache, wines easier to digest and more food friendly.”
As long as those, like the undersigned in this letter to Gambero Rosso, continue to mischaracterize all other wines besides theirs as dangerous, inauthentic, dangerous to one’s health and indigestible, they can expect to continue to be ridiculed by those who object to fraud and lies in the service of marketing.