Nothing added, nothing taken away. This mantra articulates an ideal that producers of Natural Wines strive for. In practice this means minimal or no manipulation of the soil, vines, grapes or wine. The vineyards are farmed organically, without the use of pesticides or herbicides. Fermentation starts spontaneously with native yeasts found on the grape skins rather than with the introduction of cultured yeasts. The fermentation process is then allowed to proceed undisturbed. Sulphur dioxide is used in minimal quantities, if at all, and the wines are often bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Delicious and unique but hardly crowd-pleasers (no corporate-funded focus groups here), Natural Wines can display a wide array of aromas and flavors that are not often found in conventional wines. Some display funky flavors akin to kombucha or sour beer. Others have fresh, wild berry fruit or pronounced notes of cured meats and olives. In general, they are higher in acid and lower in alcohol and are often not prone to cellaring.