Vin Doux Naturel (VDN)

Definition - What does Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) mean?

Vin doux naturel is a type of wine that has a natural level of sweetness. This is created through light fortification with a spirit being added to the wine before the end of the fermentation process, usually consisting of brandy. The natural sweetness of the wine is created through the process of mutage. This type of wine also contains residual grape sugars.

Vin doux naturel wines are generally associated with the Languedoc-Roussillon area of France, where the grapes necessary to make the wine are grown.

WineFrog explains Vin Doux Naturel (VDN)

The vin doux Naturel wine is made using a unique method called Mutage, where a pure wine originating spirit containing 96% alcohol is added to the musts during fermentation. Doing so stops the fermentation process by killing the yeast, which in turn has two effects; this process increases the level of alcohol while the wine develops a natural level of sweetness.

Arnaud de Ville-Neuve, a doctor of medicine at the University of Montpellier, developed this method in the late 13th century, and this method of mutage can be used to make Both red and white wines. The Languedoc-Roussillon area is famous for the production of top-notch vin doux naturel, as the dry and windy climate helps to concentrate the sweetness in the grapes. Most wines of this type are aged in old oak barrels and exposed to the sun to concentrate flavors.

Vin doux naturel is typically made from white Muscat grapes or red Grenache grapes, commonly found in southern France, and can be made in both oxidized or unoxidized styles. They are generally referred to as dessert wines in the United States to avoid confusions with hard drinks.