Thursday, January 14, 2010

Natural Wines


So I just grabbed a sample selection off the shelves of what we consider to be "natural wines". These wines are different than most conventional, organic, and sustainably produced wines in that they are made with minimal intervention. What I mean is that the methods used by larger, industrial wine companies to make their wines are not used here. Things like selected yeast strains, artificially concentrating the must, taking out some of the alcohol, adding sweeteners, etc. You are more likely to see unfiltered wines made with indigenous yeasts. Great care is observed, mostly in the vineyard and not just a lack of pesticides but the actual work done in the vineyard raising the grapes is done as naturally as possible. The grapes are almost always hand-harvested and the idea is to let nature express itself. Some growers also follow planting and harvesting schedules based on a lunar cycle. Really what's here is natural farming and winemaking.

There is a great respect for the land and the idea is to have the place be the flavor of the wine rather than the grape variety. Growing the right type of grape for your climate is essential, as is working with what nature gives you rather than trying to manipulate the style of what wine you are producing. The flavors can be very exciting and different from what a lot of people are used to. Sometimes things are straightforward and sometimes things are really outside of the box! I think it's great and who would want all the wines to taste the same anyway?

In the store we mark all wines produced by some type of natural agriculture with a green star. Some are certified organic, some are practicing organic without certification, some are sustainable, some are biodynamic, and others say they just do what their ancestors did. The point is that the wines are all unique and different and you can always ask us for notes and details.


Michael

5 comments:

  1. Nice post Miguel... well put! You've cought me in the middle of a bottle of Prüfer 08 'Fou du Roi'....naturally...!

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