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wine2wine • Sala ITA - Italian Trade Agency - Palaexpo Floor -1

Monday, 13 November 2023 10:00 10:45 (CET)

What does 'natural' mean in wine? How to engage wine lovers with science

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The European Commission has prohibited the use of the words “natural wine” on labels in Europe. Why? Primarily because there exists an underlying misunderstanding about what “natural” actually refers to in the wine sector. One side of the argument sees “natural” wines as those with zero interventions (i.e., no chemicals, no sulfites, no pesticides, etc.), while forgetting that the harvest, fermentation and bottling processes all involve human intervention. The other side of the argument says the only wines that are truly “natural” must be those made from wild vines with no genetic selection over time – and these wines simply do not exist.
While both arguments can be viewed as extreme, both have at heart a desire for sustainability, care for the environment and attention to the health of consumers. Recent trends, especially among young/new wine consumers and often fuelled by social media, point to an emphasis on the desire for “wholesome” food and beverage products that demonstrate a respect for nature and consumers’ health. These trends are not new, but the escalation of focus on these issues has caused a battle with existing consumers who value and recognize the key sensory references basic to the traditional evaluation of wine. Producers of “natural” wines contribute to the confusion by ignoring both sides of the argument and insisting that their winemaking choices stem solely from their beliefs about how wines should be made.
Is “natural” wine a myth? A marketing ploy? The darling of social media? If we focus on the “naturalness” of wine, do we risk foregoing ground-breaking research on precision viticulture, technique and technology that could represent the most effective way to enhance the terroir while respecting environmental and economic sustainability? How do we combat fake news and alarmism? We must address the great shortage of trainers and communicators who combine technical skills with the ability to make themselves not only understood, but also to fascinate those who listen or read.

Event languages: Italiano, English

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Speaker - Prof. Attilio Scienza
Prof. Attilio Scienza

A full professor at the University of Milan, he has taught Grapevine Genetic Improvement at DiSAA and Territory Viticulture at the inter-university Master’s program of the University of Turin, in the Asti campus. He has been the lead for many national research projects in the field of cultivation techniques of grapevine physiology and genetics. He is the author of more than 350 scientific publications in both national and international journals, conference presentations, textbooks, and monographs mainly devoted to grapevine and viticulture. He also authored 23 books in Italian and English on topics mainly related to wine culture and civilization.

From 1985 to 1991, he was the Director of the Istituto Agrario di S. Michele all’Adige (the research and training institute branch of the Edmund Mach Foundation). He is Chairman of the National Committee for DOC Wines. He is an Ordinary Academician of the Italian Academy of Vine and Wine, and an Ordinary Member of the Georgofili Academy. During his long career, Prof. Scienza e has been recognized with numerous awards for his research and writing, including the AEI Prize for Scientific Research in 1991, the Morsiani International Prize in 2006, and the OIV Prize in the discipline of viticulture for the best scientific book on viticulture and vine culture issues in 2003, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2023. Since June 2018, Attilio Scienza has also collaborated with Vinitaly International as Chief Scientist of the Vinitaly International Academy. He was awarded the Masi International “Civiltà del Vino” Prize in 2021.

Speaker - Mod. Gabriele Gorelli MW
Mod. Gabriele Gorelli MW

Born in 1984, Gabriele Gorelli MW is one of Italy’s most esteemed wine experts. Born and raised in Montalcino, Tuscany, in February 2021, he became the first Italian Master of Wine. His passion for wine was born thanks to his paternal grandfather, the smallest producer of Brunello di Montalcino. After linguistic studies, he gained a long experience in the visual communication of wine. In 2015 he co-founded KH Wines, which deals with strategic product and communication consultancy for high-level brands. Gabriele speaks English and French and has a basic knowledge of German. Avid traveller, marathon runner and Ashtanga Yoga practitioner. Today, Gabriele is Worldwide Faculty Ambassador for Fondazione Banfi and Brand Ambassador for Vinventions.


Sala ITA - Italian Trade Agency - Palaexpo Floor -1
Sala ITA - Italian Trade Agency - Palaexpo Floor -1