Hundreds of European wineries have come together to create a new production ethos that, they say, ‘gets to the heart of what sustainable winemaking should be all about.
‘Namely, grand principles, woolly ideas, and nothing that makes our life too difficult.’
Hugh Cares, president of the Making Eco Production Hard Is Totally Illogical Captain (MEPHITIC) movement says that Easy Wine’s rules are ‘much more flexible’ than other green bodies and ‘similar to the vin vivant group in France’.
‘We believe in making wine naturally,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘And let’s face it, there’s nothing natural about making life unnecessarily hard for yourself.
‘So we don’t.’
Easy Wine producers, he said, agree to use ‘comparatively few’ chemicals in the vineyard, ‘not many’ additives in the winery and ‘natural yeast if we feel like it.’
‘It’s all about listening to the natural life force in the wine and doing what it tells you,’ said Cares. ‘Fortunately, most of the time, the wine seems to be happy with the easy option.’
Clean and natural
Easy Wine members will be able to call their wines ‘quite natural’, ‘fairly clean’ and ‘hassle free’ and get to put a large sticker of a smiling sunflower on the label.
’These clean lifestyle cues are increasingly important to modern consumers,’ said Watt Ever of Domaine Mann in the Loire.
‘But since most of them haven’t got a clue what any of the terms actually mean, the sticker’s probably all that really matters.’
Feeling good naturally
Eco-certified organic and biodynamic groups have criticised the Easy Wine movement for being ‘opportunistic’, ‘cynical’ and ‘onto a good thing – the bastards’.
But at Domaine Mann, Watt Ever was enthusiastic about the aims of the new group.
‘We’re just trying to present journalists and the public with comforting, hard to verify eco terms so they feel better about buying our products,’ he said.
‘As long as they don’t see the big bags of pesticide round the back of the tractor shed everyone goes home happy.’
‘There’ll always be some haters out there who try to diss what we’re about,’ said MEPHITIC’s Cares. ‘But we’re incredibly committed to doing the right thing.
‘For ourselves at least.’