Hold the Sulfites: Why More French Vintners are Going Natural

Bertrand Celce

Not such a lonely furrow Once isolated, natural vintners like Loire's Olivier Cousin now find themselves part of a growing movement

In recent years, a wine fair held in the dead of winter in France's Loire Valley has become the unlikely site of La Dive Bouteille, one of the country's hottest professionals-only tastings. Importers and sommeliers attend from all over the world to sample singular wines made from organic grapes without additives and with little or no sulfites. And where they once went only out of curiosity, today they go to buy. "There's been a real shift among the professionals," says Christian Chaussard, a Loire winemaker and president of Association des Vins Naturels (AVN). "Consumers are demanding...

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