Natural Wines are getting more attention these days since consumers are seeking products that are local, pure, and unadulterated. So what exactly is a natural wine?
The concept of natural wine comes from the belief that wine is made "out in the vineyard" and not created through manipulation in the wine cellar.
Modern wine making has become very industrialized. Most cheap wines (and even some expensive wines) are brought to market through a manufactured process that may include oak additives, micro oxidation (to reduce time in barrels), adjusting for acidity levels, and the generous use of sulphites to allow for transportation and storage on retailers shelves.
Natural wine making is just the opposite. True practitioners of natural wine making use native yeasts (yeast that occurs naturally in the vineyard), do not adjust for acidity levels (making each year different from the next), use a minimal sulphites, and do not filter or fine before bottling (that means there may be sediment at the bottom of the bottle).
In my own hobby wine making, I make natural wine and I love it! The acidity of wines made from grapes in the Midwest takes some getting used to but I have come to embrace the natrual brightness of these wines. In addition, I love the mouthfeel that sediment gives to a glass of wine. And knowing that what I am putting in my body is what the ancient Greeks and residents of Mesopotamia must have consumed kind of turns me on!
So when you read about the nay sayers who think natural wine is a fad, think twice. Try it out and then make your own judgement. I'bet that some of you out there will enjoy a glass of natural wine.