What is Natural Wine?

 

It’s just fermented grapes, plain and simple. As a whole, natural wine aims to make wine with as little chemical or technological intervention as possible by allowing nature to work its magic. Natural wine is becoming increasingly popular and it's no surprise why. Just like the organic food realizations of the early 2000's, we are starting to see that the conventional wine we have been drinking is actually full of preservatives and other unnecessary additives, and may not be the best for our bodies or the planet.

Though there is no standardized certification for natural wine, it is widely accepted that natural wine is naturally grown, using organic or biodynamic practices, typically unfiltered, with little to no added sulfites or additives in the cellar, and only native yeasts used for the fermentation process. This is verified by our importers, who visit each and every winemaker to discuss and view their practices, these are true artists of their craft. 

Natural wine is in rhythm with the slow food movement, and our winemakers are true stewards of their land, concerned with making wine that is good for the earth and for you, not mass produced wine based on profit margins.

By letting the environment work its magic, a bottle of natural wine is often described as alive - fresh, unique, earthy. Conventional wine is often made to taste uniform. New drinkers to natural wine will find it to be a bit of a different beverage, and it may take some getting used to because the drink is truly so alive. 

Though we see natural wine as a new trend, the reality is that natural wine is the original way of making wine, and it was only in our recent history that we start to see so many chemicals added to wine. It is a contemporary yet incredibly ancient way of making wine.

- ALSO - 
🍇 Fewer Hangovers
🍇 Sustainable  
🍇 Made with Grapes! No Conventional Additives (Shellfish Anyone :/) 
🍇 Low to 0 Sulfites 

 "I have suffered from migraines for years and been unable to even look at red wine. The discovery of natural wine has made it possible for me to enjoy and indulge in tasty Merlot, Lambrusco, and my beloved Sangiovese once more. I love the fact that I get to sip on crisp, rich wines unencumbered by nasty little additives - natural wine is just that - natural and pure in form." - Milena

NATURAL WINE TERMS TO KNOW

0/0: A common term heard in natural wine that means nothing is added and nothing is removed from the wine. This includes no added sulfites or additives at all, and no filtering or fining. Some think of this as natural as wine gets. 

Biodynamic: Biodynamic farming is a way of farming that uses the lunar cycles and a system of natural preparations to cultivate the land. It was written down with specificities by philosopher Rudolph Steiner in the early 1920s, although lunar farming in some form or another has been practiced for thousands of years. Biodynamic farming has been found to have a positive effect on energy use and efficiency while creating some of the most interesting natural wines. 

Glou-Glou:  The word glou-glou literally means “chuggable” or "easy-drinking / drinkable" in French. Not only is it the sound the wine makes as it pours from the neck of the bottle, but also the sound it makes as we (ever so gracefully) chug it from our petit French wine glass (think glug-glug). Glou-Glou wines are lighter in color, lighter in flavor, sometimes with a slight bubble to them. 

Orange Wine/Skin Contact: Also known as skin contact wine, it is made by leaving the skins of white wine grapes on during the first part of the fermentation process. By letting the juice sit with the skins, from a few hours to a few months, as you would with rosé or red wine, you end up with a more colorful, some would say orange, wine. The skins also give orange wine amazing complexity and range. Some tasting like sour beers - others more floral and light. Though this is a current trend, orange wine is an ancient type of winemaking. Georgians have been making this type of Amber Wine for over 8,000 years! 

Sulfur: What's the deal with sulfur? You often hear natural wine people talking about no added sulfur or minimal amounts of sulfur. A small amount of natural sulphur can occur during the fermentation process of wine. Some winemakers then add sulfur to stabilize the wine by preventing it from oxidizing, and to prohibit bacteria from growing. Sulfur has been the most common winemaking additive since ancient times. The difference between natural winemakers and conventional winemakers is the amount of sulfur they add and when. Most natural winemakers add no sulfur or a very minimal amount (under 10mg/L) right before bottling. Conventional wine in the United States can have up to 350mg/L of added sulfur. 

Yeast/Native Yeast: Representing 1% of the fungus world, yeasts are responsible for a wide variety of human experiences and products; from diseases and biofuels, to making some of the best breads, cheeses, and wines in the world. The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, meaning “sugar fungus,” sets off fermentation during the winemaking process, causing sugar to be converted to alcohol. These yeast strains appear naturally when the grape is left sitting on the vine or in the cellar. When a winemaker uses natural/native/indigenous yeast they are using the yeast that appears naturally on the grape. These native yeasts can be harder to work with, as they are more volatile and unpredictable than cultured yeasts, which are made in labs, and used in conventional winemaking.

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