ForceBrands Decanter: Opening Up the Conversation
ForceBrands is the consumer product industry’s leading recruiting firm. Each month, the company’s leading recruiters and strategists share insider advice and insights about the wine world.
The natural wine movement is showing no signs of slowing down. And although organic represents less than 5 percent of the U.S. wine industry, it’s grown between 10-20 percent per year in volume from 2013-2016, according to Nielsen.
In its most simplistic definition, natural wine is made from farming and fermenting with no outside interference. But what exactly differentiates wine from being organic, sustainable, or biodynamic?
Organic wines are regulated by the U.S. government and can be found in two types: they can be made from certified organically grown grapes, or, made from organically grown grapes, and also made without any added sulfites. Sustainable wines are made from practices that are not only ecologically sound, but are also economically viable and socially responsible. Biodynamic wines are made from grapes that are farmed biodynamically (without synthetic chemicals or common manipulations like acidity adjustments, and utilizing the vineyard as an entire ecosystem).
Although the industry is niche, it’s getting a lot of buzz as consumers become increasingly conscious of the ingredients they’re consuming. A ‘healthier’ wine appeals t0 the growing population of people who are interested in eating more organically. According to market research firm The Hartman Group, 70 percent of Americans buy organic food occasionally, and nearly 25 percent buy it every week.
Just as organic food continues to see an increase in demand, so, too, is the natural wine space.
- Jackson Family Wines
California has led the way in sustainable wine production. This family-owned company oversees all of the wine production and marketing for the Jackson Family, including such well-known wine brands as Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Murphy-Goode, Matanzas Creek, Cardinale, Stonestreet, Verite, Arrowood, Freemark Abbey, Cambria, and Byron.
- Rutherford Wine Company
This family-owned and managed winery offers a portfolio of wines that showcases the rich diversity of California’s premier growing regions. Rutherford Wine Company is committed to earth-friendly winegrowing. “Sustainable” viticulture is not only good for the environment; it results in higher quality fruit, a prerequisite for crafting world-class wines.
- Bonny Doon
Established by Randall Grahm in 1983, Bonny Doon produces naturally soulful, distinctive, and original wine that focuses on terroir. The company is known for its biodynamic winemaking practices and was among the first premium winemakers to swap corks for screw caps in 2001.
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