There’s a growing trend around the world for natural wine, wine made from organically farmed grapes and with little to no winemaker intervention… which means no intense processing methods, no additives, nothing that will change the aroma, or the taste and so on.
The end result, therefore, is a delicious tipple that is a direct expression of the land in which it is grown - or the terroir, if you will. It is this terroir, in fact, that is perhaps the most important aspect of growing grapes for wine production.
‘Terroir’ encompasses everything from climate (including sunlight, rainfall and temperature) and geology (the type of soil and earth, which affects water supply and drainage) to soil chemistry, altitude, slope, weather exposure and so on, all of which contribute to the end product and what it tastes like.
If you know your wines, you’re sure to be able to detect even small differences between the various burgundies, sauvignon blancs, rieslings, chardonnays and so on… and these nuances, no matter how small, are all down to the terroir in which the grapes are grown.
For natural wine production, this becomes even more important because the aim is to ensure that the bottles are as representative of the natural environment as they can be.
This, no doubt, is a huge factor behind why these wines are becoming more popular as time goes on, since the offerings are incredibly diverse, giving wine aficionados all sorts of opportunities to try new tastes and flavour profiles.
Because there is a lack of human intervention in natural wine production, it’s a common misconception that these wines are simple to bring to market. This couldn’t be further from the truth, since many of the processes and technologies used for making wine were designed to make it easier - so forgoing these actually makes wine production trickier.
It requires an incredible depth of knowledge about crop growth cycles, harvesting, pressing, fermentation and so on, in order to deliver a clean, delicious and wellmade natural wine… so bear this in mind the next time you’re kicking back, relaxing and enjoying a glass of your new favourite red or white.