Wine writing

Why natural wines?

There’s no legally defined criteria nor universally accepted definition of what can be called a “natural wine”. So the term can be ambiguous.

I see “natural wine” phenomenon as the combination of two ideas:

- small producers
- sustainable farming, along with low-intervention winemaking.

No large industrial manufacturers but instead, small producers and family-run businesses. Artisans, in a sense of master craftsmen, who have honed their skills through years of practice and training. This involves lots of manual labor, small scale and tiny quantities, focused on quality and authenticity. It’s distinct from mass-produced wines.

Grapes for natural wine are grown using sustainable farming methods, usually organic or biodynamic, without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other artificial inputs. Healthy grapes translate a genuine sense of the place.

In the cellar, there is a minimal intervention in the winemaking process. Grapes are fermented using wild yeasts instead of commercially cultured yeasts. During the fermentation process, little to no sulfur is added to the wine. There is no manipulation of the wine, such as acidification, chaptalization or clarification, and filtration is often minimal or not used at all. Natural wines may be cloudy or have sediment, which results from not using fining agents or filtration methods.

Nothing is taken from the wine, and nothing is added. Some people think of them as naked wines. Unmasked and with no makeup.

All the above helps to achieve a more pure, authentic expression of wine. This allows the grapes to speak for themselves and results in wines that are distinct and different from those made using conventional techniques.

The money spent on natural wine goes directly to support the winemakers and their families, making it an ethical choice and a delicious one.

Natural wine has a soul, and every label tells a story. They are joyful wines made by joyful people. By trying natural wines, you’ll discover new taste profiles you might not have experienced before. Polished, industrial wines lack the nerve and character that natural wines possess.

In conclusion, I would like to paraphrase Alexandra de Vazeilles, the owner and the winemaker of biodynamically certified Château des Bachelards in Beaujolais:

“By drinking natural wines we are not the part of a problem, but of a solution.”
Natural wine
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