Natural Wine Definition
What is Natural Wine?
The definition of natural wine seems as plastic as there are vintner’s making it. Duncan would like to state for the record that his philosophy of Natural Wine is an organic wine.
A wine that begins in an ideal vineyard, is always hand-picked, gently pressed, fermented with natural yeasts, unfined, unfiltered, aged and sealed preferably with cork.
The wine should be stable and not liable to spoil. Therefore, a scientific approach to the basic chemistries of winemaking needs to adhere to.
The electrical energy used should be sustainable sourced also. Ideally, he recommends all the free solar energy that vintners have at their disposal during vintage should be harnessed with photovoltaic (PV) panels.
Natural Wine specifications
1. The Vineyard – must be not irrigated. This means that the fruit does not uptake artificial moisture as from dammed water or underground water. This means that the water is sourced by the (quite resourceful) vines – making for high-quality fruit.
The vines are hand-pruned and dressed, de-leafing is carried out to reduce fungicide spraying and the fruit is hand-picked when the sugar level is optimal for good wine-making.
2. Natural dessert wine fruit should be picked late in the season and very high in sugar. It is crushed before ferment starts.
Fermentation via natural yeasts (another gift from the Gods of wine). Thereafter, the must is pressed by any means practicable. Duncan uses a basket press, to extract the partially fermented juice.
3. The wine should be unfined and unfiltered. There is a saying,” Good wine falls bright”.
This means very little to no sediment most of which can be avoided by age settling prior to bottling and decanting after opening on the part of the consumer. Any protein haze is a natural part of the process of maturation.
4. The still wine should be sealed with cork as it is a naturally sustainable product. Cork is a renewable resource and uses 1/2 the electricity to produce, and hence half the CO2 than alternatives like aluminium. Unfortunately, electrical energy is cheap and aluminium screw caps are about half the price of corks. Pet Nat and Sparkling wines may have a crown seal. They keep longer.
Want to know more about Australian Natural Wine?
Want to know more about Australian Natural Wine? ABC natural wine article
In conclusion, organic natural wines are better for you and the environment. Enjoy in moderation.