What is Natural Wine? 1

Learning

What is Natural Wine?

What is Natural Wine?

“100% grape juice – nothing added, nothing taken away”

Isabelle Legeron MW

 

What makes a wine natural?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding natural wine. Mainly because it is not a legal term. We work with the criteria created by Isabelle Legeron MW founder of the world’s leading natural wine fair called RAW. Specifically, wines are only allowed to exhibit at RAW if they are farmed organically, contain less that 50mg/l of sulphites, are using natural yeasts and filtration is kept to a minimum.

Isn’t it a bit weird?

Natural Wine is often thought of as being, cloudy, fizzy, funky, and weird … and sometimes it can be. It is also, however, entirely possible to make exceptionally clean and precise wines that tick all the natural wine boxes. In fact, natural wine, whilst thought of as contemporary, is really an ultra-traditional approach. Its only in the last 20 or 30 years that wine making has become so hi-tech. This is why you’ll see very traditional labels alongside very modern labels on our shelves.

Will I like it?

It is worth noting that we look at a wine based on taste first. If we don’t like it, it doesn’t make the selection. It just so happens that most of the wines we love we are also happy to classify as natural.

if you have good fruit, why mess with it?

how is it better?

We see natural wine as being about providing an authentic representation of the grapes grown in the vineyard. Just like when we take a photograph, we can use filters and make subtle (or extreme) adjustments until the final image is a long way from what we originally started with. In a way, it is the same with wine. If you have good fruit then why mess with it? If you have the right growing conditions, suitable grape varieties and take a lot of care in the vineyard, then the raw material is enough to make something authentic and hopefully exceptional.

Quoting from the Raw Wine website:

“Natural wine is farmed organically (biodynamically, using permaculture or the like) and made (or rather transformed) without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum. As such neither fining nor (tight) filtration are used. The result is a living wine – wholesome and full of naturally occurring microbiology.”