So what exactly is natural wine? While wines can officially be labelled as biodynamic, there currently is no certified natural wine certification. However, all natural wines have the same things in common:
No added sulfites (though some natural winemakers add a minimal amount 30-40mg/L)
Indigenous yeast and Spontaneous Fermentation
No pesticides and no chemicals (other than a weak dosage of copper) are used on the vines or the soil.
Many natural wine makers also choose to not filter their wines and to not use fining agents. The clarification process is aimed at taking things out of the wine. However, natural wines are only made of grapes, so there is no need to remove anything. This often results in natural wines having some sediment at the bottom of a bottle which is a mixtures of the grapes and yeast.
The general principle of natural wine is to use a minimal amount of human intervention and to let the grapes do the talking. This creates a final product that is essentially different than conventional wines. Conventional wines often aim to reproduce a specific taste year after year by using chemical intervention where natural wine is usually more variable every year.
Furthermore, natural wine is more than just an end product, it is a philosophy. It focuses on sustainable agriculture, healthy soil, and a wine that consists only of the ingredients of the land it came from. As wine consumption and demand continues to increase around the world this type of sustainable agriculture is a healthy way to supply high quality wines to the world.