There is nothing new about natural wine. Many natural winemakers believe in the philosophy of ‘nothing added, nothing is taken away. As a result, natural wines are often devoid of fertilisers, pesticides, enzymes, sugars, and yeasts. In contrast, conventional wines depend on a sophisticated system of checks and balances, including chemical additions and procedures.
But the last twenty years have seen a growing awareness of these wines, a growing market for them, and an increasing number of winemakers turning, or returning, to this kind of approach, or in other words returning to the roots of the natural winemaking.
Natural Wine Trends
The organic wine market was worth £3.8 billion in 2020.
France leads the way in both the production and consumption of natural wine. However, when the French wine industry as a whole is shrinking, sales of natural wine are consistently rising. The UK, aware of this trend, is importing and pleasing palates with bottles of natural wine.
Organic or biodynamic wine is not the same as natural wine.
Indeed, winemaking processes in all three categories sometimes overlap, but although natural wines are organic by default, not all organic wines are natural. Wines that are certified organic must utilise grapes farmed without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides. The standards governing organic grape processing, on the other hand, allow for additives and industrial methods. On the other hand, natural wines utilise little or no intervention, are picked by hand and are prepared more artisanal rather than using modern technology.
Meanwhile, biodynamic wines depend on a variety of old agricultural methods, such as mineral preparations and lunar calendar observation — procedures that aren’t required to create natural wines.
Reasons why you should experiment with natural wine
Natural wine has a distinct and refreshing flavour. In a way that conjures up images of natural meadows and long peaceful days. A tastier alternative filled with real flavours.
Natural wine is a living thing. Therefore, during grape harvesting, the winemaker strives to maintain the wine alive — that is, to retain the bacterial life in the wine as unspoiled as possible.
And you may be wondering, despite this, how long does wine last? It still depends on how well you keep it after you open the bottle.
Natural wines are often low histamine wines with appropriate sulphite levels. Furthermore, natural winemakers create sulphite-free wines. Sulphites in natural white wines must not exceed 40 mg per litre, while red wines must not exceed 30 mg per litre. In comparison, normal reds have 160 mg per litre while whites may have up to 400 mg per litre.
The spread of natural wine in the UK
The first shop specialising in natural wines appeared in London in the late eighties. And today is common to find dedicated shops importing and distributing natural wines; Pure Wines is one of those shops that provide British people with a great selection of natural wines.