Being someone who feels the cold I’m very excited that spring is peeping its head around the corner with longer daylight hours and snowdrops and daffodils springing up all over.
Looking out over the Mendips with new life coming through shows nature at its best which brings me to the new buzz in the wine world, “natural wines.” I’m not one to jump on the band wagon to new trends and have actually not readily bought organic or bio-dynamic wines, for that reason. I am however intrigued with natural wines.
So what is a natural wine?
“Wine that is made with as little intervention as possible, either in the way the grapes are grown or how they are made in to wine.”
There are certain requirements a producer has to reach before they can be classed as natural even though there is no law as yet to determine this.
One of the requirements is no added sugar or yeasts, the grapes will use their own sugar and yeasts to allow fermentation to take place. This is taking wine making back to the beginning and how it was made before we had any chemical intervention within the production of wine. The grapes natural levels of sugar, acidity and tannin will determine the alcohol result of the wine and its characteristics.
I do find this extremely interesting as this will give more emphasis on each vintage as it comes through. With conventional wine making if the raw material is lacking a particular element then through chemical manipulation in wine production this can be balanced out. As I understand it natural wine making won’t have that option, they will have to rely on the climate and great pruning skills to ensure quality grapes.
What about sulpher dioxide? Some producers don’t use it at all but it is allowed and only in very small quantities. It would really only be used at the very end before bottling to stable the wine to enable it to travel.
There are now 2 weeks dedicated to natural wines this year the dates being 9th – 22nd May. There is a wine fair that will be held in Londons famous foodie Borough Market. If however your not up for a trip to London The Wine Tasting co will be holding an event to delve into the natural wine world.