What is it?
There is no official or legal definition of natural wine and there is no organization to certify that a wine is natural. The assosiations of natural wine producers has published several unofficial definitions and codes of practice and they are working towards a common definition.
There are some basic criterias that most natural wine producers and organizations accept:
- organically or biodynamically grown grapes
- dry-farmed, low-yielding vineyards
- no added sugars, foreign yeasts or foreign bacteria
- no acidity adjustments
- no additives for color, mouth-feel or minerality
- no external flavour additives (including those derived from new oak barrels, staves, chips or liquid extract)
- minimal or no fining or filtration
- no heavy manipulation like micro-oxygenation, reverse osmosis, spinning cone or cryoextraction
- minimal or no added sulfites
When you taste natural wines from fantastics wine makers from France, Italy, Spain, Austria or Georgia which make beautiful examples with no additives at all, it does make you wonder: if they can manage it, why can’t everyone else?
Wine is one of the few food industries not regulated by labelling laws. As we become increasingly aware of what we eat, it seems weird that we are not yet asking the same questions of what we drink. But that might change sooner than we think.