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Wine Types

Our ever-expanding list of wine type terms.

B

Biodynamic

Biodynamics is a homeopathic manner of farming that uses natural composts, or preparations, and times farming work, including harvests, with celestial (moon and sun) cycles. It was first popularized in the 1920s by an Austrian philosopher name Rudolf Steiner. There are two certifying bodies for wine: Demeter International and Biodyvin. Certified biodynamic wines contain up to 100 mg/L sulfites and do not necessarily taste differently than non-biodynamic wines.

C

Cap Classique

A South African producers association that focuses on the promotion of traditional method sparkling wines that are bottle fermented and aged "en tirage."

F

Fortified Wine

A wine that’s stabilized by the addition of spirits, typically made of neutral, clear grape brandy. For example, about 30% of Port wine is spirit, which raises the ABV to 20%.

N

Natural Wine

A generalized term used to describe wines that are produced with sustainable, organic, and/or biodynamic viticulture. Wines are processed using minimal or no additives, including sulfur dioxide (sulfites). Because of the lack of clarification and fining, natural wines are typically cloudy and some may still contain yeast sediment. Generally speaking, natural wines are fragile and sensitive and should be stored carefully.

O

Orange Wine

A term used to describe a style of white wine where the grape must is fermented with the skins and the seeds, much like a red wine. The lignin in the seeds dyes the wine a deeper orange color. While this style is very old, wines from eastern Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, and in Brda, Slovenia have created recent interest in this style.

Organic Wine

Organic wine must be made with organically grown grapes and processed using a short list of acceptable additives. EU allows organic wines to use sulfur dioxide (SO2) and US organic wines do not allow the use of SO2.

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