In this short read we examine what is unfiltered wine and why there is such a hype about it currently.Let's get to grips about the whole concept though. So we were discussing earlier what would one call a natural wine. Suffice to say, it is all about low intervention winemaking, not manipulating much with the process and not adding nasties along the way.
At the last stage, just prior to bottling, winemakers will, in majority of cases, filter their wines. The wine will accumulate a sediment and might also have smaller particles that are making the wine hazy. Many will consider these as unwanted, so winemakers use different filtration techniques to make your wine look bright and clear, but also to eliminate the sediment.
All these particles that make the wine hazy and make a light sediment actually all very natural and harmless - in fact they also contain a lot of flavour.
What happens is that in most cases winemakers will not only clarify and filter the wines, they will strip the wine of some of its flavour. Your resulted wine, your cost for the clarity, brightness and no sediment comes at a bit of a price.
Yet that's not all. Many do not know that those filtration techniques in many many cases use animal derived materials. Cow intestines, fish bones that go into isinglass, eggs and dairy are all being used to filter your wine. It means that in some cases your wine comes at a much bigger price - a price of an animal life.
Unfortunately the ideal alternative has not been found yet. The only material that does not use animal tissue and being used in filtration is bentonite - it is a blue clay. The bad news is that is filters out even more flavour.
It seems that the hype for unfiltered wine is simply a very justified trend for a pure wine that has not been altered in many ways. It can be just for the flavour reasons, but animal welfare and a growth of vegan wine category plays a huge role too.