At the start of the industrial revolution and globalization of gastronomic products, the ancestral tradition of winemaking underwent an unfortunate process of transformation. Grapes became genetically modified. The cultivation and manufacturing processes evolved resulting in industrial techniques that utilized chemical products to manipulate flavors. This manipulation was intended to please the “expected quality and profile of the consumer’s taste” and satisfy the growing demand for the product.
However (and fortunately), in France, Italy, Spain, and Georgia there were winemakers that maintained the ancestral culture of wine production. In rare cases, the tradition has remained intact with little variation over the centuries. This ancient traditional method preserves the purest essence of the grape, producing wine that is 100% natural.
Today, Millennials are very concerned about health. Their interest in environmentally friendly products and brands that have a sustainable mission has driven interest to rediscover the philosophy and methodology behind raw wines.
Natural wines are the result of a combination between the best grapes, climate, and terroir coupled with the Winemaker’s ability to preserve the balance of the ecosystem.
Natural wines are made with organic grapes. By this definition, the wine is cultivated “without adding or removing anything” at any point in the creation process. The grapes are not subject to oenological processes that transform their properties or essence. The idea is to let the grape naturally evolve.
There is a creative process associated with these wines. The winemaker is the artist, and the wine is their piece of art. For this reason, each harvest produces limited, unique and unrepeatable batches.
Unlike organic and biodynamic wines, there is not a standard under which these products could be certified, but there are commonly accepted practices that define this category.
Natural wine is any wine made with minimal chemical and technological intervention, both in growing grapes and making the wine.
They are usually defined by everything of it is not added (ingredients) or it is not done (oenological processes), regarding the conventional winemaking.
DOES NOT CONTAIN the following ADDITIVES:
**Industrial yeasts **Industrial bacteria, industrial enzymes **Colorants (such as Mega Purple) **Preservatives, thickeners or flavor enhancers **Acids, sugar or fruit juice added **Water or extracts added **Oak chips, artificial tannins
INTERVENTIONS NOT CARRIED OUT:
**Add pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides or other contaminants for grapes **Heat or cool the wine or grape juice **Filter the wine **Add substances to clarify the wine **Reverse osmosis **Rotating cones **Micro-oxygenation **Cryo-extraction **Sterile filtration **Practice any other unnecessary intervention that destroys the expression of the terroir
The elaboration process is very simple. It consists of:
** Squeeze the grapes **Press the grapes **Transfer wine from a bin to another **Clarification only by gravity, by the passage of time and by the cold of winter
A special paragraph for SO2 (sulfites).
The most widely used antioxidant in the wine industry is anhydride sulfurous (Sulfite or SO2) which is the one used to stop fermentation to achieve the desired flavor. But, the wine is “dead” at this point.
Unfortunately, SO2 in high doses is often responsible for consumers stopping drinking wines, as they experience feelings of discomfort after consumption, such as headache, irritation to the digestive system, allergies, etc.
Some figures regarding the allowed sulfite content depending on the type of wine…
NATURAL WINE IS HEALTH AND A PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE. A ONE-WAY TRIP FROM THE HEART IN THESE TIMES OF GREAT CHANGES.
(*) ppm= parts per millIon