Frequently Asked Questions
What is Natural Wine?
Natural Wine is farmed organically (biodynamically) The grapes are transformed without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum. Neither fining nor filtration are used. The result is a living wine full of naturally occurring microbiology.
According to the Oxford Companion to Wine:
- Grapes are typically grown by small-scale, independent producers.
- Grapes are hand-picked from sustainable, organic, or biodynamic vineyards.
- Wine is fermented with no added yeast (ie. native yeasts).
- No additives are included in fermentation (yeast nutrients, etc).
- Little or no sulfites are added.
Is Natural Wine Better for Me?
Because the use of sulfites, additives and other forms of manipulation are removed, many believe that natural wines are better for you. Sometimes this is true, but sometimes it isn’t. Firstly, wine sulfites aren’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a bit of controversial topic, but there is still no evidence that sulfites cause wine headaches. Natural wines are unfiltered as well as unfined, which means that any impurities in the wine such as microbes and proteins are included in the bottle. The use of native yeasts occasionally may increase the number of biogenic amines found in wine. Tyramine is one of these biogenic amines and has been studied and shown to cause headaches and migraines.
Because my Natural wine doesn’t have any additives. Should I treat it the same as “Normal Wine”?
This is a great question. Since Natural wines are more fragile than “Normal” wines. There are a few key steps to getting the best possible experience from your wine. Below is a small list of best practices.
- Drink within a year of purchase (unless they contain sulfites).
- Store in your wine fridge, cellar or fridge.
- Never let your bottles get above 80 ºF (26.7 ºC).
- Keep natural wines away from all light sources. This includes LEDs and fluorescents.
- Store open wines sealed with a cork (or vacu vin) in your fridge.
What is Orange Wine?
Orange wine is basically white wine that’s made like a red wine, where the skins and seeds stay in contact with the juice during the fermentation process. The skins are not removed like they are in typical white wine production. The skins can stay in contact with the juice for days or even months!