NATURAL WINE– Wine Produced/ Farmed From Organically or Bio-Dynamically Farmed Vineyards. Natural Wine Has Nothing Added or Taken Out of the Wine During the Entire Wine Producing Process. Natural Wine is Non/ Low Intervention Wine Making and Produced Using Minimal Vitification and Vinification Intervention.
“Natural Wine is All About What Nature Gives You In a Certain Growing Year, and Letting Guiding Your Wine to Reflect That.”
- The Idea Behind Natural Wine is a Concept and Philosophy, and it Centers Around Doing as Little as Possible to the Grapes and the Wine. There Are Over 50 Additives and Procedures Wine Can Be Put Through, Natural Wine Attempts to Do None. Natural Wine Making is a Precise Art Form From Vitification to Vinification, and Isn’t Immune to Bad Wine-Making.
- While There’s Some Distinct Overlap Natural Wine Shouldn’t Be Confused With Organic or Bio-Dynamic Grape Growing or Wine Making
- There is a Great Need to Separate/ Divide Natural Viticulture With Natural Viniculture. Today the Majority of the Responsible Wine World is Producing Grapes Grown Organically/ Naturally. (Entire Wine Regions Such as Napa and Sonoma Are Grown Almost Entirely Organically.) A Lot of Conventional Wine is Produced From Organically/ Natural Grapes.
HISTORY- Wine Was Made Naturally Up Until the Start of the 1900’s When it Became Evident That With the Use of Herbicide and Pesticide a Grape Grower Could Easily Kill Off Unwanted Insects/ Mildews/ and Weed. The Term “Natural Wine” Started In the 1980’s as a Way to Differentiate Minimal Invasive Wine With Conventional Wine.
CULTURE- For Promoting purposes, Natural Producers Have Been Covering the Tops of the Bottle with a Coating of Wax In an Effort to Brand Their Movement.
CONDITIONS NECESSARY To Be CONSIDERED NATURAL WINE
- CONTENTIOUS WINE ISSUE! “There’s No Formal Definition For Natural Wine!”
- YES…“While There’s No “Formal” Definition, There is the Criteria/ Conditions Necessary to Be Considered Nature Wine That Are Widely Excepting Throughout the Natural Wine Community.”
- NO…“France Has Now In 2020 Came Out With Official Guidelines and Labeling For Natural Wine Producers.”
- Grapes Have to Be Farmed Organically or Bio-Dynamically.
- Following Sustainable Viticulture Practices.
- Grapes Have to Be Harvested by Hand.
- No Additives…No Cultured Yeast, Sulphate, Acids, Tannin, Coloring, Chapilization
- No Procedures…No Fining, No Filtering, No Sterilization.
- No Blocking of Malolactic Conversion.
- No Sulphur is Added to the Wine, as a Stabilizing or Antimicrobial Factor.
- Although Debatable a Minimal Amount of Sulfur at Bottling to Stabilize Production is Acceptable 5- 10ppm. (Parts Per Million.)
In a Wine There’s a Micro Biology Constantly Occurring. When You Use Sulfites You Kill the Unwanted Bacteria as Planed But You Also Knock Out the Yeast Population and Change A Lot of the Tasting Features. You Physically Take Out Some of the Aliveness and Change What the Wine is and What It Has the Potential to Become.
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Do You Need to Use Native/ Wild Yeast Indigenous to the Grapes Region to Be Natural and Part of Its Terroir?”
- “The True Representation of Terroir Needs to Include Native Yeast. The Act of Killing Off Native Yeast Only to Inoculate With a Cultured Yeast is Unnatural. As a Result One Winery’s Wine Can Taste Completely Different From Their Neighbors Estate Wine Even if the Land and Grapes and Identical.”
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Should There Be a Label On Wines Stating All of the Ingredients Naturally Occurring or Added During the Wine Making Process?”
- “Natural and Organic Wine-Makers Are Pushing For Transparent Labeling For All Ingredients Put Into Wine.”
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Is Natural Wine More Alive Than Conventional Wine?”
- “Natural Wine Looks Different/ More Alive Under a Microscope. It’s Microbial Super Healthy. All Wines Are Alive at One Point, Natural Wine is Just More Alive Than Conventional Wine. Natural Wine is More Alive With Remarkable Energy and Tension.”
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “In Reality is There a “Sliding Scale” of Naturalness and Low Intervention Wine Making?”
- “I Don’t Care if the Grape Grower or Wine Producer Uses Some Natural Element or Technology to Enhance Their Wine. All Natural Wine Producers Start the Wine Making Process with Zero Intent On Intervening With Native Yeast Fermentation, Un-Fined, Unfiltered, No Sulfur Use, Minimal Vineyard Intervention. But Usually Commercial Yeast and Sulphur Are Near to Make Corrections if Needed. Even With the Purest of Intent a Little Intervention is Always Better Than Losing a Vintage.”
- CONTENTIOUS WINE ISSUE! “It’s Alright For Wine Producers to Be Reluctant to Discuss Exactly What They Did or Used On the Wine Even Though is Was Completely Legal!”
- YES…“Legally There is Nothing That States Producers Have to State What Procedures They Used In Wine Making.”
- NO…“With an Eye On Transparence I Think It’s a Good Idea For the Wine Producer to State What They Did or Didn’t Do When Making the Wine.”
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Wine Has Historically Always Been Totally Natural, When Did Wine Producers Start Making Conventional Wines?”
- “Around the Start of the 1900’s Grape Grower and Wine Producers Started Using Pesticides and Other Non-Natural/ Organic Practices In Their Vineyards and Wineries as a Mean to Produce More Wine Easier.”
- CONTENTIOUS WINE ISSUE! “Does Natural Wine Need to Be Drunk In Context!”
- NO...“A Good Wine is a Good Wine Regardless if the Wine Was Produced Naturally or Not.”
- YES…“Often a Wine Which In a Blind Tasting Wouldn’t Show Well or Stand Out For Quality or Typicity is Much More Appreciated or Understood When Put Under the Context of Being a “Natural Wine.”
- CONTENTIOUS WINE ISSUE! “Natural Wine Doesn’t Age Well!”
- NO…“Natural Wine Will Age Just as Well as Conventional Wine if the Wine Was Produced With No Faults or Flaws. Also the Grape Used Still Need to Suitable For Aging.(Possessing Higher Tannins/ Higher Acidity/ Sugar.) Finally the Wine Must Be Stored In the Proper Conditions.”
- YES…“Natural Wines Are Not the Best Wines to Age Due to Their No Sulphur Addition to Control Bacteria and Spoilage and Low Intervention Techniques Such as Minimal Maceration, No Fining and No Filtering. Sure These Natural Wines Are Fine For a Couple Years But We All Cringe When We See a 10 Year Old Natural Wine.”
- CONTENTIOUS WINE ISSUE! “I’m Amazed How Forgiving Fans of Natural Wines Are When It Comes to Quality and Typicity.”
- “Its Seems That Sometimes a Wine Which Would Ordinarily Be Called Out For Being Flawed or Faulty is Given a Past or Just Credited to as Being a Natural Wine.”
DRINKING/ TASTING/ EVALUATING NATURAL WINE
- NATURAL WINE EVALUATION
- Sight: CLARITY– Clear-Murky
COLOR– Peach, Pink, Salmon, Light-Orange
- Aroma: Grapy, Bubble Gum
- Structure: Whites Are More Tannic, Reds Are Less Tannic.
- Generally- Less Oak, Less Extraction, Lower Abv.
- Radiance, Young, Fresh, Fruity Easy Drinking, Unpredictable, Spoils Easily.
- Should Be Treated Like Fresh Fruit and Should Be Taken Care of During Travel Time Natural Wine Subject to Bottle Shock and Should Be Remedied as So.
- Residual Carbon Dioxide- Appears When You Pour a Glass of Natural Wine. Producers Bottle Wine With Low Levels of Natural Occurring Co2 Because it Helps Preserve the Wine.
- Sight: CLARITY– Clear-Murky
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Can an Educated Wine Professional/ Sommelier Pick Out Natural Wines In a Blind Tasting Among Conventional Wines?”
- “This is Debatable, There Are Things About Natural Wine That Might Stand Out When Blind Tasting: Natural Yeast, Enhance Texture, Tension In the Wine.”
NATURAL WINE PIONEERS
- PIONEERS~ ~Frank Cornelissen~ “Italy”, Leader In Etna Modern Natural Wine Movement.
- PIONEERS~ ~Elisabetta Forador~ “Alto-Adige”, Leader In Modern Natural Wine Movement.
- PIONEERS~ ~Nicolas Joly~ “France”, Leader In Loire, Modern Natural Wine Movement.
- PIONEERS~ ~Pierre Overnoy~ “France”, Leader In Jura Modern Natural Wine Movement.
- PIONEERS~ ~Isabela Legegron~ “France”, Pioneer of Modern Natural Wine Movement.
- PIONEERS~ ~Jules Chauvet~ “France”, Father of Modern French Natural Wine Movement.
“If You Care About Your How Your Vegetables Were Grown You Should Care About How Your Wine Was Produced.”
NATURAL WINE ORGANIZATION
- France- ~L’Association des Vin Naturels~
- France- ~Les Vino S.A.I.N.S France~
- Italy- ~Vini Veri~
- Italy- ~Vinnatur~ Innovative Collaboration With Universities and Research Institutes.
- Slovenia- ~Zadruga Simbiosa Ekolosko Kimetijstvo~ ZBO.
- Spain- ~Asociación de Productores de Vinos Naturales de España~
- **Refer to “WINE STYLES/ Orange Wine” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE STYLES/ Sparkling/ Methode Ancestral” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “VITICULTURE/ Bio-Dynamic” For Detailed Information
- VIN METHODE NATURE-(Natural Method Wine) Classification For Natural/ Low Intervention Wines.
- ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Syndicat de Defense des Vins Nature’l~
- Mission~ To Legally Defend the Idea of the Vin Methode Nature, to Communicate Its Charter and to Build a Community of Like-Minded People. They Cover 12 Points that Must Be Respected to Claim the Label.
- Grapes Come From Certified Organic Vineyard.
- No Additives Used During Vinification.
- Grapes Must Be Hand Harvested.
- Native Yeast/ Spontaneous Fermentations.
- No Flash Pasteurization
- No Cross-Flow Filtration
- No Acidification.
- No Thermo Vinification
- No Reverse Osmosis
- Two Distinctive Logos…1) No Added Sulfite.
- 2) Sulfite Added Post Fermentation (Less Than 30 Mg./ L.)
- ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Syndicat de Defense des Vins Nature’l~
- WINE & PHILOSOPHY? “Serving Oxidized Wine?”
- (Contentious Wine Issue!)“Is it Alright to Serve Noticeably Oxidized Wine Just Because It’s Produced by a Legendary Natural Wine Pioneer In Friuli, Italy Using Amphora? On One Hand Under No Situation Should a Drastically Flawed Wine Be Served. On the Other Hand Oxidized Wine is Fault But Also Can Be a Style of Wine That’s Not Appreciated by All Wine Consumers But Should Be Available For People to Consume. So In This Case It’s Alright to Serve This Wine as Long as Its Style is Discussed With the Customer Before Ordering.”
MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON NATURAL WINES
- “I Drink a Lot of Natural Wine, More Than Most Wine Drinkers. A Couple Times a Month I Go Out of My Way to Seek Out Wine Bars Promoting and Featuring These Minimal Intervention Wines. I Like Natural Wines, I Enjoy Drinking Them and I Enjoy Doing Research On Them In Effort to Understand the Viniculture and People Behind Them. But I Want to Drink More Than Just Fermented Grape Juice, Grapes Needs to Have the Human Input to Coax the Wine From Must Into Wine Through Winemaking Techniques. Part of the Natural Wine Movement is Losing Sight That Wine Needs to Be Turned Into Wine With Enhanced Complexity and Not Just Do Nothing and Let it Be Fermented Grape Juice.”
“Natural Wine Drinkers Want to Know, is the Wine Produced Responsibly and Does it Taste Good.”
“I Want to Know What You Did, Not What You Didn’t Do to the Wine.”
**Refer to “BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources” For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.