Like true love or any number divided by zero, natural wine is undefined. But while it has no official rules and it’s not listed in the dictionary, it can be thought of as an umbrella term covering a few general winemaking principles.
- The grapes are handpicked after being grown organically and/or biodynamically.
- The winemakers are small-scale producers, often in areas that aren’t thought of as blue-chip wine regions.
- Fermentation is kicked off with yeasts that exist naturally in the vineyard, and the addition of sulfites is kept to a minimum.
- Wines are bottled with minimal fining or filtering (a lot of them are cloudy).
In other words, it’s the pursuit to minimize human intervention in the winemaking process to allow the most authentic representation of the land and grapes as possible.