Facts & Fiction: What is Natural Wine?

Posted on 16 January, 2018 by Jack Barbour | 0 comments

natural wine definition blog post

What is natural wine?

Since we started our journey of retailing wines, there is this other term 'natural wine' that I have always been very apprehensive about using. As a relative novice to in the glistening world of wine, I have worked, possibly harder than most in my position, to make sure that I have, not only gotten to grips with the wines themselves, but also all of the terminology that goes with it. I think I have been marginally successful. I often wonder if this was an A-Level would I probably fail? However I seem to be getting into the swing of things. But I am slightly afraid of the term natural wine. What exactly is it? 

I went to research more about natural wines

I decided that instead of trying to wing it and hope for the best, maybe this time I should be pro-active and find out. It is part of my personal resolutions for the year after all. But as I am discovering and trying to understand this, it's not easy. As someone, who is a supposed professional, who’s is in the dark, I thought why not try to bring along everyone else on this rollercoaster ride of wisdom too. 

Do you know that the actual term ‘natural wine’ does not physically have a definition? It seems a bit weird to me that this is the case given that almost everyone is using this name to label their wines. I know that Dimitri, my 'long suffering' business partner, has used this to describe some of our no added sulphite wines but not always all of them. So how can anyone label something that does not have a definition?


Let's define natural wine

I think we know who we are at Organic Wine Club. We retail wines that are made organically, with and without the organic stamp, sometimes made with no added sulphites or with just tiny bit added to assist with settling the wine in the bottle. But how can you label anything when the tag you want to add doesn’t really exist? Or are people choosing to exploit this bizarre loophole?

Well the sceptic in me is saying yes, but then again not everyone outside the hemisphere of me is a bit of a south London Del Boy type of trader. Why would you not want to use this minor blip in the prestige world of wine to help sell your wines to consumers that may or may not know the difference. I have to say, if I was that consumer I would buy it, happily. Then again I am a novice, but I am digressing again. What does natural wine mean? 

To me, with my limited but growing knowledge with potentially only 4 hours of research, natural wine means exactly that.

Natural wine is made from grapes that are grown naturally following  organic practice regulations with absolutely no sulphites or additives added and basically absolutely no intervention in the fermentation process by the winemaker. For me this seems like a fair assumption. 

When you look at the books I had to read to back this up, reading imagine! It would seem that most people agree with my assumption, even Jancis Robinson agrees. Just as a side bar, Jancis Robinson is like the real live version of google for wine. I would also like to apologise in advance if I have caused offence. It was meant to be a compliment whilst showing we can rage against the machine. 

What's more is that it is not just about what is natural wine. Mostly importantly, or what's there for you, is what our members say about their experience. They agree that after serving 'natural' wines for celebrations or special occasions they don't have a pounding headache the next day and most of the time feel great the morning after. I am happy to be of service and drink in moderation of course!

So am I right or am I wrong? Why don’t you let me know how do you define natural wine.

Posted in natural wines, our club


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