Quite simply, natural wine is all about purity. Natura wines are mindful about what we put into the earth; and how we care for our vineyards and the grapes we get back are therefore the cleanest, and purest expression of what our Chilean terroir can offer.
The final objective of this type of agriculture is to produce healthier foods without the presence of chemical products. On the other hand, it also aims to reverse the problems generated by conventional agriculture, such as soil degradation, desertification, pollution and contamination, the loss of genetic diversity, and the presence of toxic residues in the harvests, just to mention a few.
Each of our vineyards is a faithful reflection of organic practices based on two general concepts: the development of biodiversity and the absence of agrochemicals (pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers). View our vegan wines of Chile varietals.
At the end, we produce better-balanced and cleaner, natural wines. Our natural wine is healthier and has a much better sense of place. Our natural wine is unique.
Where to Buy Natural Wine
Buying natural wine seems like the most…. well, natural thing in the world. After all, who wants to drink anything unnatural?! But buying natural wine can be more difficult than you think, as we have to face endless labels and varying definitions of the words “natural” and “organic.” Let’s get to the bottom of this, starting with a super quick history lesson on 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.” Columella, 1st century writer
A Brief History of Wine
In its beginning days, thousands and thousands of years ago, wine could not have been more natural. It’s thought that our early human ancestors discovered grapes, liked the sugary treat, and collected them. If they sat in a container for a few days, the liquid at the bottom began producing low-alcohol wine.
The earliest evidence of wine as we will come to know it was in Georgia in 6000 BC. Here too, thanks to the vagaries of different growing regions, the lack of advanced technology, and the diverse techniques of individual winemakers, the wine was simply produced – and, as would become trendy millennia later – it was 100% organic and natural!
As winemaking techniques were developed and as technology advanced over the following centuries, the world began to see more mechanized, homogenized wine. The science of wine allowed a more uniform flavor.
In the post-WWII era, though, winemakers rebelled against the trend towards overly mechanized, homogenized wines that they felt lacked “spirit” and personality. “Homogenized” was not the word they wanted us to think of when we sipped our favorite reds or whites! They wanted us to taste the differences that geography and terrain make, to notice the notes struck by those who craft the wine, to savor the unique qualities associated with different grapes, different growing regions, different vineyards, and different winemakers.
Thus began a trend towards natural wine, or varietals with few, if any, additives and without over-processing. They began making traditional wines – just like their grandma and grandpa did – that captured the unique nature of the grapes, the land on which they were grown, and even the folks who crafted the varietals. Today, natural, clean wine brands keep this tradition alive. And it’s a trend that is still going strong.
What Is Natural Wine?
There is no official definition for “natural” wine, and as such, no official requirements or standards by which producers must comply. But, loosely, natural typically means winemaking processes that encompass sustainable, organic, and/or biodynamic principles in both the growing and production practices.
Natural winemakers and wine producers prefer to take a hands-off approach. They do not use additives (with the exception of a small amount of sulfur to increase or aid stabilization as needed). Additionally, their wines are not filtered or fined (fining is the process of removing molecules that create a hazy appearance).
Natural wine is made in small batches because it requires more labor-intensive tactics, such as hand-picking, basket pressing, and other techniques to bring out the unique qualities of the grapes, impart the signature characteristics of the winemaker, and infuse exceptional flavor.
What’s the Difference Between Natural and Organic Wine?
Again, given that there is no official definition of natural wine, this is a tricky question to answer. Loosely, natural wine has minimal interventions. It relies on the natural fermentation process rather than interventions to speed up various processes. In this way, natural wine typically differs from organic wines that do use additives and agents.
So what makes a wine “organic”? Organic wine is made with grapes that are grown organically. Simple enough so far! In the US, to be considered organic, wines must be made with organically grown grapes and have no added sulfites. In Europe and Canada, organic wines may have added sulfites to a certain limit.
In other words, a natural wine may not technically be “organic,” and an organic wine may not be “natural” in that some winemakers use organic chemicals and treatments. But some wines are both. Confused? Time to take a break to enjoy a glass of natural and/or organic sauvignon blanc with a good cheese board on the porch!
Buying Natural Wine
The first step in buying natural wine? Understanding what “natural” means. Check! The second step in buying natural wine? Knowing what you want.
Do you want a wine that is produced with minimal intervention and little or no additives? Do you want wine made from organic grapes? Do you want to support vineyards that utilize biodynamic and sustainable practices? Do you want all of the above? In the end, your selection comes down to your stance on these issues – and, of course, your taste buds.
Where to Buy Organic Wine and Natural Wine
Figuring out where to buy organic wine and natural wine can be challenging, but it is well worth the effort when it comes to quality and taste. Some tips to help you get started:
- Use a good wine locating tool. If you have a brand in mind, see if they have a tool that helps you locate local vendors/suppliers. Natura, for example, makes it easy. Our locator tool features an easy-to-use function that allows you to simply enter your zip code and the varietal you love, and we will produce a list of retailers at which you can purchase, get a map right to their doors, and enjoy delicious, fresh natural wine.
- Have a conversation. If you don’t have a brand on the tip of your tongue, look for wine sellers who offer organic and/or natural wine. Walk-in – and do not be intimidated! Remember, this is their passion. They love to talk about wine, and if you tell them what you like to drink and that you’d like to seek out organic and/or natural wines, they can point you in the right direction.
- Use some descriptors. Don’t be afraid to use some adjectives when buying natural wine. Do the wines you like appear “cloudy”? Do you like ones that remind you of a sour beer or kombucha? Do you like those that are crisp and clear? Do you want something similar to a pinot grigio or a malbec you’ve had before? The more you can tell them, the more they can help you.
- Taste. If shops and vendors near you have wine tastings, by all means, GO! Wine tastings are a terrific way to not only taste but to learn. You can also pick up invaluable tips as to food pairings to help maximize taste and the overall experience.
- Explore online. Use this powerful resource to find great winemakers and where to buy organic wine. This is particularly important for folks who do not live within range of a niche wine shop or a larger store that has branched out into natural and organic wines.
Bonus tip: keep tasting. Not all natural and organic wines are the same, and winemakers employ different techniques and tactics as they create their magical elixirs! You may also find that you prefer reds over whites or dry wines over sweet wines, for example. The key to enjoying wine is… enjoying wine!
This is a journey that you can embark on and savor over a lifetime. Likewise, buying natural wine is an exercise in exploration. See what you like, what you don’t, what qualities speak to you, which characteristics complete your meals… and keep evolving!
Why Buy Organic, Natural Wine
Finding organic, natural wine brands can pose a challenge, but it is well worth the effort in terms of taste and quality. If you love organic and natural wines, start with Natura. Our convenient locating tool makes finding your favorite varietal a breeze. And rest assured: you will enjoy exquisite flavor and depth with each sip.
Buying natural wine is easy – when you know where to start. So why not start in the gorgeous vineyards of Chile? Why not start with Natura Wines?