Natural wine, what is it ?!
Here are some words to help you understand the phenomenon of natural wine or nature wine...
Natural wine/organic wine, what's the difference ?
Natural wine is made from organically or biodynamically-grown grapes. At this stage it is improperly referred to as “organic wine”. But the natural winegrower goes even further by using no chemical additives and minimal doses of sulfur during the winemaking process, which requires significant additional work.
What would be the point of picking sound grapes from healthy vines deep-rooted into a living soil if the winemaker later uses industrial yeasts, chaptalization, acidulation or other excessive interventions ? The ‘natural’ winegrower has great respect for the soil and resorts to organic compost, natural preparations, ploughing and hoeing.
A natural winemaker, what's that ?
A ‘natural’ winegrower is non-interventionist. He lets nature take its own natural course while using gentle and harmless methods of production. To restrict yields pruning is short, quality being favoured over quantity and manual harvesting over mechanical picking. Only wild yeasts are allowed to start fermentation and doses of sulfur are kept to a bare minimum or even not even used at all. Maximum SO2 dosage is stipulated in the Association des Vins Naturels ‘ regulations with required doses being much lower than those permitted in official figures.Natural wines, either naturel red wine or natural white wine, are manipulated gently and slowly in order not to shock or spoil the wine’s character: few or no rackings at all, wine matured on fine lees, light filtration, well-integrated wood etc…By “natural”we mean the opposite of industrial, technical or conventional. Each winegrower works according to their own beliefs with great respect for the environment. Their goal is to produce a wine that reflects their personality and also improves year after year.As the late lamented Marcel Lapierre used to say: “ Wine is natural stuff. Full stop. If you forget a crate full of grapes in the vineyard and come to pick it 3 weeks later, the only thing you will find is a disgusting concoction that has gone off”.Sometimes the natural winegrower’s natural practices will make him go against the AOC requirements which cover the authorized varietals or the geographical zone. And above all these nature wines (natural red wine, natural white wine…) may not pass the official approval tasting for AOCs. That’s precisely why some atypical natural wines are sometimes demoted to Vin de Pays or Vin de France.
Is natural wine a weird wine ?
Natural wine is a “free” wine that sometimes needs to be tamed. It is often a sensitive and fragile wine on the razor’s edge and for which the words ‘fruity’ and ‘mineral’ take on full meaning. It is true that just after being opened the nose of some wines may not be that pleasant with reductive or animal notes. That’s why it is recommended to decant your nature wine before the tasting and as a result you will see your wine open up and ‘bloom’ in a dramatic way.A natural wine may be a little fizzy ie a feeling of tiny bubbles on the palate. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to shake the bottle for a few seconds before decanting it. As you can see, a natural wine (and especially natural red wine and natural white wine) is a product that requires a great deal of attention to be fully enjoyed.Unlike more chemical or conventional wines, each bottle of natural wine can delight or surprise you providing a truly original and also healthy experience. Discover these wines and make you friends discover them as well. Believe us, what fantastic , convivial and full of passion tastings ahead! Petites Caves’ honour! Enjoy your tasting ! You can find a selection of the best natural wines in our online wine store.