Posted on by Stew Went

The key to Natural Wine is minimal chemical and technological intervention. This covers both the growing of grapes and the production of wine itself. Whilst wine can be considered both organic and biodynamic it still might fail a strict Natural Wine criteria.

But that’s the problem! There is no agreed standard of Natural Wine (be it across regions or nations) and indeed legally recognizable qualification bodies do not exist.

Perhaps it is more sensible when describing such wines to reference Natural ‘principles’ rather than any apparent factual statement.

It is generally agreed that Natural Wines, at a minimum, must be grown organically. Although it should be noted some wines considered ‘Organic’ may have tiny amounts of sulphur added. This in itself would contravene many Natural Wine definitions.

Some scouring of the internet reveals some common themes around views on Natural Wine criteria:

  • No irrigation
  • Hand picked
  • Grown to organic principles
  • Native yeasts only
  • No added sugar, acids, colour, sulphur, flavouring of any kind (some consider oak a no no!)
  • No or very limited filtration or use of techniques such as fruit concentration

Simply put, nothing should be added or taken away in the production process. The wine is simply naturally fermented grape juice and nothing (or very little) else.