What Is The Difference Between Organic, Biodynamic, And Natural Wines?

If you’re a wine enthusiast or simply enjoy trying new varieties, you may have come across the terms “organic,” “biodynamic,” and “natural” when browsing through the shelves at your local wine store. But what exactly do these labels mean? Understanding the difference between organic, biodynamic, and natural wines can help you make more informed choices and discover new flavors that align with your preferences. In this article, we’ll unravel the distinctions between these three wine categories, shedding light on their production methods, philosophies, and the unique characteristics they bring to your glass. Get ready to explore the fascinating world of organic, biodynamic, and natural wines, and enhance your wine-tasting adventures.

What Is The Difference Between Organic, Biodynamic, And Natural Wines?

Organic Wines


Organic wines are produced from grapes that have been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. The goal of organic farming is to promote biodiversity, soil health, and overall sustainability. In the case of organic winemaking, this means that the entire vineyard, from the soil to the vines, follows organic practices.

Certification Process

To be certified organic, winemakers must adhere to strict guidelines set by the relevant certification bodies. In the United States, for example, vineyards must obtain certification from the National Organic Program (NOP) to label their wines as organic. This involves meeting standards for every aspect of production, including soil management, pest control, and winemaking practices.

Farming Practices

Organic vineyards prioritize natural methods for maintaining soil fertility and warding off pests. This includes the use of compost and cover crops to enrich the soil, as well as natural predators to control pests. In some cases, organic farmers may also rely on certain approved substances, such as sulfur and copper, as a last resort to combat specific vineyard issues.

Biodynamic Wines


Biodynamic wines take organic farming to the next level by incorporating holistic and spiritual principles into the winemaking process. This approach views the vineyard as a self-sustaining ecosystem and emphasizes the interconnectedness of plants, animals, and celestial forces.

Certification Process

Biodynamic certification is granted by organizations such as Demeter International, which sets the standards for biodynamic agriculture worldwide. To achieve certification, vineyards must follow biodynamic practices for at least three years and undergo yearly inspections. This involves not only organic farming methods but also the implementation of specific biodynamic preparations and adherence to biodynamic planting and harvesting calendars.

Farming Practices

Biodynamic vineyards go beyond organic practices and often incorporate unique techniques such as the use of biodynamic preparations. These preparations, made from natural substances like herbs and animal manure, are used to enhance soil vitality and stimulate plant growth. Biodynamic farmers also pay close attention to lunar and cosmic influences, aligning their planting and harvesting activities with lunar cycles and cosmic forces.

Natural Wines


Natural wines focus on minimal intervention in both the vineyard and the winery. They are made with the philosophy that the winemaker’s role is to guide the grapes into wine rather than manipulate or alter their natural characteristics. Natural winemaking prioritizes the use of native yeasts, no additives or chemicals, and minimal filtration and fining.

Certification Process

Unlike organic and biodynamic wines, there is no official certification for natural wines. However, several independent organizations provide guidelines and labels for producers who align with natural winemaking principles. Consumers can look for labels like “Vin Méthode Nature” or “Vin Naturel” to identify wines that meet these criteria.

Winemaking Practices

Natural winemakers typically choose to intervene as little as possible during the winemaking process. This means using natural or wild yeast present on the grapes for fermentation, avoiding the addition of sulfites or other additives, and refraining from excessive filtration and fining. The result is a wine that truly reflects the unique characteristics of the grape and the terroir.

Use of Chemicals

One of the most significant distinctions among organic, biodynamic, and natural wines is the use of chemicals. While organic and biodynamic wines are produced without synthetic chemicals, natural wines take this a step further and avoid the use of any chemicals, including sulfites, which are commonly used as a preservative in conventional winemaking. Some natural winemakers argue that the absence of chemicals allows for a more authentic expression of the grape and its terroir.

What Is The Difference Between Organic, Biodynamic, And Natural Wines?

Additives and Manipulation

In conventional winemaking, winemakers often use additives and manipulations to achieve a desired taste or appearance. These can include the addition of sugar, acid, or color enhancers, as well as the use of oak chips to mimic aging in oak barrels. However, organic, biodynamic, and natural wines strictly limit or completely prohibit the use of these additives and manipulations. This means that the final product is a true reflection of the grapes and the environment in which they were grown.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Organic, biodynamic, and natural wines all prioritize sustainability and have a lower environmental impact compared to conventional winemaking. By eschewing synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, these practices help preserve soil health, promote biodiversity, and reduce pollution. By adopting these methods, winemakers are not only producing high-quality wines, but they are also ensuring the longevity and health of their vineyards for future generations.

What Is The Difference Between Organic, Biodynamic, And Natural Wines?

Taste and Characteristics

The taste and characteristics of organic, biodynamic, and natural wines can vary widely depending on various factors, including grape variety, vineyard location, and winemaking techniques. In general, these wines tend to have a more authentic and expressive taste, showcasing the unique terroir of the vineyard. Some people describe them as having a fresher, more vibrant flavor profile with less manipulation or “artificial” elements commonly found in conventionally produced wines.

Consumer Preferences

As consumers become increasingly interested in sustainable and conscientious food and beverage choices, the demand for organic, biodynamic, and natural wines continues to grow. Many wine enthusiasts appreciate the dedication to organic farming methods, minimal intervention, and the focus on terroir and authenticity. Additionally, those with sensitivities to sulfites or other additives often find that they can enjoy natural wines without experiencing adverse reactions.

Price Range

The price range for organic, biodynamic, and natural wines can vary significantly, just as with conventional wines. Factors such as vineyard location, grape variety, production scale, and winemaking techniques all influence the final price. In some cases, these wines may be priced higher due to the time, effort, and commitment required to follow organic, biodynamic, or natural practices. However, there are also affordable options available in each category for those seeking sustainable and authentic wine choices.


Organic, biodynamic, and natural wines offer consumers a wide range of choices that align with their values and preferences. Whether you prioritize environmentally friendly practices, minimal intervention, or a true expression of terroir, these categories have something to offer. By opting for these wines, you not only support sustainable agriculture but also have the opportunity to enjoy unique and authentic flavors that reflect the passion and dedication of the winemakers. So, next time you uncork a bottle, consider exploring the world of organic, biodynamic, and natural wines—you might just discover a new favorite.