Natural Wine at the essence is wine made from organic, or biodynamically farmed grapes with minimal intervention during the winemaking process. In the Vineyard, grape growers forgo industrial fertilisers, artificial herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and insecticides.Management of vines and their health, is promoted by protecting and enriching the environment. Replenishing the soil of its nutrients, using organic means and homemade fertilisers. Encouraging biodiversity to work in their favour, these grape growers can use nature, to help protect their vines against risks and dangers that occur during the growing season. Harvesting by hand and only selecting the healthiest grapes, allows for a greater ability to work with less intervention during winemaking. Grapes begin fermentation with the indigenous yeasts found on the skins of the fruit, or natively in the air.
Natural winemakers abandon the use of selected laboratory yeast strains, that direct, predictable flavours and aromas profiles, as well as determinable alcohol levels. Allowing the wine and fruit to speak for itself, wines are typically aged and stored in neutral vessels, such as stainless steel tanks, concrete vats, or used wooden barrels that have long lost their ability to contribute, or impact flavour into the wine. When these naturally vinified wines are ready for bottling. They bottled unfiltered and unfined. By leaving the wine unfiltered, the wines retain a lot more flavour, character and texture. As well as some grape deposit, or ‘sediment’. As they are also ‘unfined’, they may appear to be slightly opaque or ‘cloudy’. These makers choose not to use clarifying agents to make their wines crystal clear, as to avoid using industrial products, or animal derived fining materials, such as egg whites or Isinglass (feel free to google) The use of Sulphur dioxide, or sulphites are kept to a minimum, or added if at all. Even if they are used to maintain stability of the wines, they are by comparison to commercial or conventional wines, at barely mentionable levels.
That’s about it in a nutshell! A scratch on the surface of what they are, how they’re made, who makes them. A rabbit hole that if you’re willing to follow…Get your seat belt on be ready to have your mind blown!
To be Continued.....