“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
In the post-WWII era, winemakers rebelled against the trend towards overly mechanized, homogenized wines that they felt lacked “spirit” and personality. 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 wine brands keep this tradition alive.
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. Rather, it is more of an approach to the winemaking process that emphasizes biodynamic, organic, and/or sustainable practices in both the growing and production processes.
Natural winemakers prefer to take a “hands-off” approach. They do not use additives (with the exception of a small amount of sulfur if they need to increase or speed stabilization), and the wines are not filtered or fined (fining is the process of removing molecules that create a hazy appearance).
Natura wine is made in small batches because it requires intensive techniques, such as hand-picking, basket pressing) and it relies on the natural fermentation process rather than interventions to speed up the processes. In this way, “natural” wine typically differs from organic and biodynamic wines that do use additives and agents.
Finding natural wine brands can pose a challenge, but it is well worth the effort in terms of taste and quality. Natura makes it easy with our simple locator tool. Simply enter your zip code and the varietal you love, and we will produce a list of retailers at which you can purchase and enjoy delicious, fresh natural wine.