All about... natural wine

As our experts says, natural wines are like organic wine "turned up to 11".

Natural wines are generally an attempt to make wines like they were made thousands of years ago; from crushed organic grapes, with no additives save yeast, that ferments into wine.
 
Some natural wines have a little SO2 added just before bottling for preserving purposes. If the grapes are healthy enough and the winemaking scrupulously clean enough then there should be no need for SO2 during the winemaking process itself.
 
Natural wines can be found throughout the world, but there is most concentration in the old-world vineyards of France and Italy. These winemakers are advocating a move away from the processing and manipulation of technology.
 
Whereas organic and biodynamic wines are focussed on what happens with the growing of the grapes, in the vineyard - natural wines encompass the entire winemaking process, including cellaring.
 
There is no official accreditation scheme for natural wines unfortunately, so a lot of it has to be taken on trust. This year France declared they would try to create a definition for the label, which will no doubt provoke much heated debate!
 
 A lot of natural wines, when first opened will have a reductive (farmyard) smell which decreases as the wine is left open to air. We believe the long post-fermentation lees-contact (that natural wines tend to get) may well be the reason here. It stabilises the wine against going off but does seem to introduce odd flavours that disappear when opened. 
 
As we've said before our decanting process definitely helps in this respect, getting the wine to improve with some air contact before we seal and send it to you.

Paul


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