What is natural wine?
Defining natural wine can be a bit tricky.
There is no official or legal definition of natural wine, and there's no governing organization that certifies natural wine. Associations of natural wine producers have created some unofficial definitions and codes of practice, and are working toward a common definition as the natural wine movement grows.
That said, we can share some of the basic criteria that most natural wine producers and organizations agree on. In general, natural wines:
- are made from organically or biodynamically grown grapes
- come from dry-farmed, low-yield vineyards
- are hand-picked
- have no added sugars, foreign yeasts, or foreign bacteria
- have no acidity adjustments
- contain no additives for color, mouth-feel, or minerality
- contain no external flavour additives (including those derived from new oak barrels, staves, chips or liquid extract)
- go through minimal or no fining or filtration
- are made without heavy manipulation like micro-oxygenation, reverse osmosis, spinning cones, or cryoextraction
- contain minimal or no added sulfites
Wine is one of the few food industries not regulated by labelling laws. We are all increasingly aware of what we eat, where it comes from, and how it's made. At Caverna do Vinho, we believe everyone should ask the same questions about what we drink. Right now, natural winemakers are in the minority. But that could change sooner than we think.