In the vineyard and the cellar, natural winemaking is seen as an approach shared by most winemakers. There is minimal to no chemical or technical intervention in the winemaking process when using biodynamic, organic, or sustainable agricultural techniques outside the winery.
Native yeast is used to ferment these wines naturally. Only a very little quantity of sulphur, if necessary, is used to stabilise the wine before it is bottled. Natural wine is frequently produced in small batches due to the risky nature of producing wine without interference and the labour-intensive procedures used.
New wood and other techniques drastically modify the wine’s composition are typically considered undesirable.
This hands-off approach distinguishes natural wines from organic and biodynamic wines in the winery.
What is it about natural wines that have sparked such a current interest?
Although natural wines may appear to be the newest drink craze, it has grown for many years.
In the late 1980s, murmurs in Parisian wine bars and experimentation in the Beaujolais and Loire Valley vineyards sparked a movement in France. Others were disillusioned with the post-World War II era’s industrialised and homogenised wines and started crafting more rustic and traditional wines like their ancestors.
Many of the same hot-button issues in society, like healthy living, environmental protection, and preserving culture and heritage, are addressed in natural wines. Natural wines are a hotly disputed and divisive subject in the wine business because of terroir’s idea and the best ways to represent it.
Are there recognised certifications for natural wines?
No. There is no certification authority for natural wines, unlike the stamps on the rear labels of organic and biodynamic wines.
Because they feel it provides customers with more information, certain members of the wine business advocate for certification. However, many believe that legislating natural wines would go against the category’s anti-authoritarian, rebellious attitude.
Natural wines might be hard to spot on the shelves of your local wine store. Produce labels can sometimes include information about the wine’s production process, especially in New World countries. Minimal intervention, natural winemaking, and unfined and unfiltered are all terms.
What can we anticipate from natural wines in terms of look and flavour?
Wild and funky to extraordinarily vibrant and sophisticated, natural wines may be found in all price ranges. Style-wise, a lot of them are relatively standard. Some of the most unusual natural wines might be a challenge to drink, and not everyone will enjoy them. Natural wines come in such a wide range of flavours and types that you’re sure to find one that’s just right for your palate.
Because of their lower alcohol content, natural wines may be consumed independently or with food. Red and white natural wines both benefit from refrigeration.
Natural wine may seem hazy and contain harmless sediment at the bottom of the bottle since they are unfined and unfiltered (techniques thought by proponents to take the flavour from wine).
Experimentation and the advancement of biodiversity are essential components of natural winemaking.
Is it possible for natural wines to age?
Many natural wines are meant to be consumed young for various reasons, including cost (small-scale producers sometimes have limited storage choices) and preservative content.
But there are also natural wines, particularly from some of the most seasoned winemakers, that can be cellared for several years.