Why you need to try Natural Wines
What are Natural or Low Intervention Wines?
"Hated by some, the only real deal for others: Few topics have split the world of wine lovers as much as this topic. Natural wine, as it is called, has taken part of the wine world by storm".
Natural winemaking, despite its more recent popularity, is technically the first and oldest method of growing wine. However, natural wine is tricky to pinpoint in a single definition; all natural wine does follow this ethos “Nothing in - Nothing out” Another explanation could be wine in its “ Purist/ Cleanest* ” form.
Natural wine—from growing and fermenting to bottling and cellaring—is made entirely without chemical intervention and with the bare minimum of technological manipulation. It's as natural as a wine can get, with little to nothing added or subtracted in the vine to vat process. To put it very, very simply, it's fermented grape juice and little else. Nothing in, Nothing out.
But, it's crucial to note that "nonchemical intervention" doesn't mean an absence of intervention entirely. Wine growing and winemaking across all categories is precise, painstaking labor, and it's extraordinarily so in natural wine. Soil fertility and diversity in the vineyard's ecosystem are vital, meaning problems among the vines, like an invasion of leaf-munching beetles, require rethinking symbioses within the entire operation rather than locating a tank of pesticide spray.
Another but: the ethos of natural wine doesn't necessarily mean these wines are "real" while others are not. Instead, think of "natural" as an indication of wine that is as un-manipulated as possible. Any naturally occurring flaws are included, and often celebrated ...and may not taste as clean / pure to some of the regular stuff you have been quaffing, but that is because we have been trained to drink that way!
Ever hear the phrase a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square?
Keep that in mind: a natural wine is organic and sometimes biodynamic, though organic and biodynamic wines are not always natural.
Natural wines In Summary
Natural Wines are exciting, distinguished and mostly different from there usual wine/ grape style. The natural wine making approach especially in Europe is advocating a return to the more human approach to winemaking, “the way older generations worked the hills before the industrialization,” in sync with nature and by intuition.
Natural Wine is farmed organically (biodynamically, using permaculture or the like) and made (or rather transformed) without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum. As such neither fining nor (tight) filtration are used. The result is a living wine – wholesome and full of naturally occurring microbiology.
In our disconnected world that salutes the money king. Wine like any business can be quick and dirty, faster and cheaper. Bottled just to be throttled down.
Or ... as Ive tried to detail. There are wine makers practising in these 3 realms have a conscious and connection to a long term view of winemaking and the world.
Their craft is painstaking, cleaner and clearer, detailed and delicate. Its about "quality over quantity". Winemakers working with and not against Mother Nature. Winemakers thinking about longterm planet sustainability and not short term profitability. Wine makers that are conscious about putting anything unconventional in and not taking anything good out. A very hands on approach in the vineyards but then once the wine is left to ferment its hands-off in the cellar letting the wine decide when its ready for cracking. In short a “Slow wine making” approach. A WIN/ WIN for the winemaker and the world or Win/ Wine for all human kind.