Why natural…

At De La Terre only sell Organic,
Natural and Bio Dynamic wines

 

What are Natural wines?

The best way to describe natural wines is nothing is added and nothing is removed. To make wines in this way requires care and attention as there are huge risks, this is because for the wine to be truly natural it shouldn’t be interfered with.

We would expect the wine to be made just from fruit… The crop farmed following organic or biodynamic principles (this is not necessarily certified) and harvested only by hand. So there is no added yeasts or additives. They restrict the use of sulphur with limits often lower than those currently stipulated by organic and biodynamic certifying bodies. Limited filtration and no other heavy manipulations in the cellar.

Natural wines are about low intervention, the use of natural yeasts for fermentation, low sulphur levels, hand harvesting and of course organic and/or biodynamic farming techniques.

Are natural wines organic and biodynamic?

Most natural wines are made using organic and/or biodynamic methods, but they won’t necessarily be labelled as such. The only way to know if a wine is organic or biodynamic is if it has certification.

We at De La Terre also chose to support the natural wine estates because we believe that supporting small family run vineyards that are making the shift and using low intervention farming methods are truly important and the future.

Is there sulphur in natural wines?

Sulphur is sometimes used in natural wines but in very small quantities, the amount of sulphur added at bottling is minimal, (below 50ppm some commercial wines can have as much as 350mg/l). Sulphur is used in commercial wine to help preserve the wine and to stop bacteria and yeasts growing and to prevent oxidisation. Oxidisation brings out aromas and flavours in the wine that can fault or enhance the wines qualities. These qualities are what tend to define natural wines.

Are all orange wines natural wines?

Orange wines are skin contact wines, a white wine that has been made with the juice and the grape skin, (made as red wines usually are), this gives the wine a distinctive orange colour.

The reason that people assume orange wines are natural wines is that it is another strongly non-interventional way to make wine, these wines can sometimes also be fully natural. Some winemakers will leave the fermenting juice alone for a matter of days but others will leave it for months, sometimes extending beyond a year! As a result, orange wines often have oxidative qualities, tasting a little sour, nutty or funky. They can certainly match foods very well, due to the heightened levels of tannins within.

Everyone’s taste is different with wine, no one is right or wrong, and natural wine is an acquired taste. The aroma is likely to a little wilder than you are familiar with, earthy, nutty, farmyard-like smells and can contain natural gases, making them slightly fizzy, so some natural wines need to be opened for a time before they are served. But a little bit of patience and a decanter are all that is needed.

The flavours will be more alive and vivid. maybe slightly yeasty, even sour, and towards a cider taste. Chances are the wine could be cloudy and have sediment. But this is because the wine will not have been filtered.

Natural wines are the top choice if you love food and wine pairing!