The Bulwine philosophy...
We live in a world with plenty of everything. The same is valid for wine too – thousands of nice wines from hundreds of wine producing countries. But now there is also Bulwine with its selection being the cherry on top of the cake.
Our wines are not only delicious, but also meet a number of criteria, requiring that the winemakers work with respect for the tradition and most of all for the nature.
Low level of added SO2
We choose our winemakers according to their ability and willingness to make wine without adding (much) sulfites, sulphur, etc. Sulphur is an aggressive substance, which helps artificially to preserve wine longer, but at the same time it is the main reason for having headache the same or the next day. Wines with low sulfite content are vivider, have richer flavour and are, in our opinion, just a lot better.
Most of our wines are made with natural, indigenous or wild yeasts, which develop on the skin of the grapes, in the vineyards and in the cellars. The addition of cultivated yeasts to stimulate fermentation and give artificial flavours to the wine is restricted to the possible minimum. For thousands of wines it is the use of cultivated or artificial yeasts that gives them this “great” balance in taste – the commercial taste many have become accustomed to. Would you assume this wine natural and healthy?
We prefer winemakers who consciously limit their yields. When a vine is carrying more fruit than it is able to ripen, it is overcropped. This is called green harvesting or crop thinning. The removal of excess grape clusters is made to ensure that those remaining clusters will fully ripen.
Our winemakers know that the best selection is made manually. By hand is the oldest and, of course, the most traditional method of harvesting. Crews of vineyard workers move quickly through the vineyard row by row, vine by vine, using shears or a curved harvest knife to carefully cut off the ripe clusters.
All of our winemakers work sustainably. Sustainable wine-growing or Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a form of light-touch conventional wine-growing. So, for example rather than spraying the whole vineyard with a pesticide, checks are made regularly and only those few vine rows likely to be attacked by the pest are sprayed instead. This significantly reduces environmental waste.
Most of our winemakers go even one step further than sustainable by eliminating the man-made pesticides, weed killers and fertilizers altogether. To claim organic status, they submit to independent checks called organic certification. Organic vineyards tend to use more manual (rather than mechanised) labour and produce up to 20% less grapes than conventional ones. This increases the costs of a bottle but organic growers say it is worth it. With lower yields the vines are healthier and less prone to diseases. The wines are less likely to contain undesirable residues, have more flavour and age in bottle better.
We love to keep it natural. We do not work with winemakers who adjust the level of sugar in the grape must. Chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to unfermented grape must in order to increase the alcohol content after fermentation. This process is not intended to make the wine sweeter, but usually means that the grapes do not have the necessary sugar content for the yeasts to ferment into alcohol.
Most of our wines are unfiltered or slightly filtered. We and our winemakers believe that filtering processes remove elements that affect the flavours and aromas of a wine. Filtering strips the wine of its true character. Instead, they employ other methods of getting the wine as clear as possible (racking, cold stabilization, and other old-school techniques are the alternative). Avoiding filtering, or keeping it to an absolute minimum is also a way to maintain organic status.
Perhaps it would be interesting for you to taste two glasses of the same wine, one of which has been filtered to see just how big the difference between the two is.
No intervention in the cellars.
What happens in the vineyard is what determines the taste of wine. Our winemakers do their best in the vineyards, the healthy way, let's call it organic, so they don’t end up in the cellar having to add or take away. In France alone, winemakers are allowed to use 60 additives to 'improve' wine.
We visit our producers on a regular basis and taste every single vintage again and again, often several times – before and after bottling. So it may happen that we omit certain vintage, but every new wine or vintage is for us surely a challenge.