– There’s no such thing as natural wine

Henry Frédéric Roch founded Domaine Prieuré Roch in 1988. Mindful of the wine-making traditions and pedological singularity of the Burgundy terroir, he developed and enhanced the domaine by scrupulously applying the ancestral methods of tending the vines, the vinification , and cellering which have historically made the wines of Burgundy so glorious, methods known today as “organics” and “bio-dynamics”. Becoming co-director of Romanée Conti following the death of his brother Charles, he shares his viticultural vision and his passion of fine wines with Yannick Champ, whom he has nominated co-director of Domaine Prieuré Roch. There's no such thing as natural wine. The detractors are happy, it doesn't exist! Actually we've never seen wine bottles go out into the vineyard... and fill themselves. Apparently it must have been a donkey that invented pruning... so there could be grapes... of a better quality. Seriously though, the term isn't entirely correct. What exists though is wine born of natural culture. Without having those chemical products... which often leave residues or traces presently unacknowledged, Wines that are fermented, preferably, only by indigenous yeasts. Max Léglise, who was head of Burgundy's 'Station oenologique' at Beaune, for years had recommended using litres and litres of sulfur. Later in his career, perhaps having more time to be concerned with his health, and that of his wife's, who had great digestion problems, he turned towards normal yeasts, indigenous yeasts and then the others... apparently these are not the same. Well, he made them his "religion" at 70 years of age. Of course if we have natural yeasts, the grapes are organically grown... their yields not too high, then the wine will make itself. It would have a sufficiently tannic structure, not too aggressive, the tannins can be very enrobed, very present yet discreet, like a framework that you cannot see but it's still there... these colloidal tannins, these fashionable things, resveratrol for the French paradox, all these little things swarming there, are of course most present... in wines which are created naturally. So there is no need to add colourant, to acidify or add sugar, it's already there.... So-called modern agriculture, in the last 60 years, has thrown to the wind the 'terroirs' and the soils, which have served for thousands of years. Perhaps now man must re-evaluate this.