Natural wine is ancient, and the latest trend in Copenhagen and the world. But, what Natural mean?
Natural wines have existed for thousands of years before industrialization. In those times these wines of the past were made from crushed grapes that fermented into wine. It was as simple as that. And no definition was needed as it was just ‘the way it was done’. The techniques were vastly experimental and as varied as the winemakers themselves, who worked with whatever opportunities were at their disposal. Nowadays, the Natural winemakers take calculated risks, with a hawk-eye attention to detail. Till today very little failure has been recorded by sommeliers, who are the natural wine movements’ strongest supporters.
How Natural Wines are made?
The natural winemaking process is actually very simple. Not easy though just simple. In the simplest terms, the process has two parts. First, growing and picking grapes. And second, turning them into wine through fermentation. Natural wine is made from organic grapes. Natural winemakers, handpick their grapes instead of relying on machines to harvest them. After turning the grapes into juice, they use native yeast, to set off natural fermentation. And unlike most conventional winemakers, they don’t use any additives (like oak flavor, sugar, acid,etc.) in the winemaking process.
So, the simplest definition is that the Natural Wines are farmed organically (biodynamically, using permaculture or the like) and transformed without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives are used, and the ‘intervention’ in the fermentation process, is kept to a minimum.
What is Sulfite and why everybody talk about this in Natural wines
The Sulfite is a preservative and stabilizer that winemakers have been using longer than any other additive.
Sulfites ensure that the wine you drink tastes roughly the same as it did when it went into the bottle. Natural winemakers either use no added sulfites or use it in small quantities, while conventional winemakers use up to 10 times as much. They also use it differently. Conventional winemakers add sulfites in the grapes to kill off natural yeasts. Then, they will add more throughout the rest of the winemaking process. However Natural winemakers will add a little bit just before bottling to keep the flavor.
How much Sulfite is allowed
The presence of sulfites doesn’t necessarily disqualify a bottle from the natural wine category, though. In natural wines circles, a small amount of sulfite is considered acceptable to preserve the original flavor. The amount allowed is around 10 to 40 mg/l sulfite added in the bottling stage.
So what define a Conventional wine?
“Conventional” winemaking, is defined by technical intervention. In the vineyard, that intervention comes in the form of pesticides and herbicides. In the cellar, intervention generally comes in the form of lab-grown yeast. The yeast is used to control the fermentation process and regulate flavor. Also, they could add acids to increase the wine’s acidity, which in turn can help the wine age better. And how we explained before, sulfites added at the time of bottling, are common practice to preserve flavor. Many winemakers also add sugar, which doesn’t make the wine sweet. Instead, the sugar turned into alcohol and creates the perception of the “body.” Every winemaker have their own “recipe” .
The key aspects of what we consider to be a natural wine
For a wine to be considered natural by us, it must be vinified as naturally as possible. This means first, that it has to be cultivated organically or biodynamically. Secondly, there must be a minimum use of additives and technological manipulations. Basically have to follow this basic principles
- No synthetic molecules in the wines
- Organic/ biodynamic cultivated grapes
- Use of indigenous yeast
- Handpicked grapes
- Low to no filtering
- Low to no sulfites
Moravian Natural Wines(Czech Republic)
Moravia is a Unesco-listed gem. We are in love with the Moravia wine region! We can say without hesitation, that from here are the best wines you’ve never tasted. But putting our love aside, let’s explain to you better why Moravia is becoming a world top-class wine region.
The different climate compared to the south of Europe offer an incredible terroir. This unique climate together with its historical tradition and folklore, guarantee the originality and uniqueness of local wines. Moravians have put a great investment into modernization of cellar technologies. The combination of this modernization with all its traditional procedures, put the Moravian and Czech wines among the best European wines. This applies especially for excellent fresh white aromatic wines. Moravia offer an attractive fruitiness in its wines, flowery tones in aroma, an “easy-to-drink” feature. All this together with its wide varieties of Natural Wines, increased the popularity among a wide spectrum of wine lovers.
Our Favorites Natural Wines?
From Petr Kočařík, Čejkovice village. Moravia
Petr Kocarik, Hibernal. This wine is owner of a beautiful deep golden color. This natural wine has a complex and fragrant bouquet (aroma) with elements of mango, guava, stone fruits, grapes and white fruits. Medium bodied, with great intensity and complexity of peaches. Refreshing and well balanced acidity and a long finishing aftertaste.
Petr KočarikPinot Noir, Full ruby colour. Is mixed with a lovely bouquet of sour cherries and tomato with a touch of tobacco. On palate is medium/full body with a balance of light acidity and silky tannins. All those aspects make Pinot very joyful on the tongue and balanced. It is the right option for your steak and easily can happen that you end up a bottle at an unexpected time.
Petr Kocaric, Tramin Tramin is a widely cultivated variety in Moravia, due to the good climate and the good soil. Strong straw yellow color with an interesting scent of citrus fruits and flowers in the nose. The taste is deep with hints of Jasmine flowers and white pepper, with a long spicy aftertaste. The taste experience is given an extra layer due to its low but balanced tannin content. The wine is great for the cheese plate or white fish.
Petr Kocaric, Pinot Chardonnay This wine is made from classic Burgundy varieties, more specifically Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The color has an extremely unique red golden, yellow color. Like all other Petr Kočarik wines, the wine is fermented in oak barrels, for 12 months. This gives the wine a smooth and gentle oaky taste, mixed with a bouquet of watermelon as well as a touch of lime
and lemon. This wine has a medium body with a fresh and interesting aftertaste. A good choice for soft cheeses, fried pork, and salmon.
From Richard Šemík, Znojmo village, Moravia.
Richard Šemík, Orange Wine Pinot Gris, This beautiful deep color Orange wine was made in a original Georgian Qveri vessel. Was fermented for 21 months underground, giving it a strong earthy flavor, which melted with pleasant fruit aromas and red fruit taste. Strongly recommended!
Richard Semik Pet-Nat Rizling 2018 Pét-Nat is our favourite natural sparkling wine. Perfect for sunny days and aperitives. The taste is fresh and fruity. You can feel lemons and oranges, with an aftertaste of nuts and a hint of yeast.
Extremely balanced acid with noticeable residual sugar. The wine is produced almost sulfite-free.
Thank you for getting here! We hope you enjoyed this article and that we have cleared all your doubts and why not get inspired to try new flavors. Visit us on our Facebook page and also on Instagram to keep up to date with all our content. Until next time!