What is Natural Wine
“The most excellent wine is one which has given pleasure by its own natural qualities, nothing must be mixed with it which might obscure its natural taste” (Roman viticulture author: Columella)
Okay… so natural wine may not be the new kid on the block - It is actually more than 8000 years old. But it's recent surge in popularity is hard to be ignored.
The people have spoken! They want authenticity and a deeper connection with nature.
We aren’t talking about organic wines that you find in supermarkets or bargain basement subscriptions. These are wines that follow organic practices but reject chemical additions. The kind of additions we get via conventional winemaking methods.
We want our wine to blow our minds because of its natural qualities. Not because its flaws have been covered up with sugar, new oak, cheap vanilla extract and a multitude of chemicals.
These are good honest wines. This means they can be hazy and/or have sediment. Sediment is completely natural and not harmful, with most of it made up of bits of seeds, grape skin, and crystal-like tartrates - or wine diamonds as they are affectionately called by producers.
Libation wines are:
- Organic or bio-dynamic viticulture/farming
- No chemical additives for aroma, color, flavor or texture enhancement. If you prefer fruit and vegetables without pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals, then it makes sense to choose chemical-free wines too.
- Lower Histamine Levels The chemicals made by your immune system to help your body get rid of allergens. If you’ve ever felt your cheeks flush red after drinking red wine then you’ve had a histamine response. Some foods (such as aged and fermented foods such as red wine) are high in histamines. Some natural wines contain lower amounts of histamines. Commercial yeasts used in conventional wine-making are also higher in histamines.
- No or minimal addition of SO2 (sulphites): A preservative and flavour stabiliser used in wine-making that can trigger a histamine response. Grape skins naturally contain sulphites and more are produced during fermentation so even natural wines will have low levels. But conventional wines contain added sulfites. If you suffer from conditions such as asthma, dermatitis, hives and flushing, it may be worth looking for low-sulphite wine.
- No Added Sugar. Also called chaptalization (adding sugar to the grape must in fermentation) Grapes contain natural sugars but some wines contain added sugar to improve taste. If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake or suffer from inflammation, don’t forget to check your wine.
- Naturally Vegan No egg or isinglass used in production.
- Dry farming, no use of irrigation
- Old growth vines, generally 35-100 years
- Hand harvested fruit from low yields
- Minimal intervention in the vinification and aging
- Wild native yeast in fermentation