While Conventional wine has crept into the hearts of wine-lovers worldwide, it is natural wine that deserves all the acclaim.
While conventional wine has always remained the global favorite, more winemakers are looking to make natural wine. Natural wine is ideal for wineries looking to move toward an organic or biodynamic journey, but it is ideal for wineries looking to work more sustainability.
There is some significant difference between natural and conventional wines, ranging from how the grapes are grown to how the wine is made and even tastes.
With that said, here is everything you need to know about the differences between natural and regular wine.
What is Natural Wine?
In essence, natural wine is based on the idea that nothing should be added or taken away, making it rather difficult to strictly define. From the vineyards to the cellar, everything surrounding natural wine focuses on making the wine as close to its natural form as possible.
When growing, the producers will almost eliminate their use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Instead, the winemaker will use natural approaches, like encouraging owls to stay near the vineyards or planting crops that repel certain insects.
With natural wine, most winemakers don’t intervene in the winemaking at all. The natural yeast present on the skin is used to allow spontaneous fermentation to occur. There are no additives or preservatives added throughout the process, and the wine is left as is. In fact, even at the end of the winemaking process, the wine is not filtered, so sediment pieces are often found in the wine. Additionally, the wine is not cleared, so it can frequently result in a hazy, murky wine.
How Natural Winemaking Differs From Conventional Winemaking
In the case of conventional wine, there are several herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers used in the vineyards. These are used to ward off unwanted pests and preserve the dignity of the berries most cost-effectively with little effort.
In the cellar, there are over 25 different additives are allowed throughout the process. In some cases, these preservatives are used to enhance the color, reduce oxidation, stabilize the wine or improve longevity. In the case of fermentation, yeast is added to the wine to encourage fermentation, whereas natural wine depends on natural yeast.
During certain stages of the winemaking process, sulfur and other additives are added to control the outcome of the wine. Also, at the end of the winemaking process, conventional wine is filtered to remove all the sediment and prevent particles from remaining in the wine. Additionally, elements are added to clarify the wine, which means it turns from being murky to clear and bright.
These elements are added and used to make the wine more accepted by consumers while enhancing certain features like flavor and color.
With natural wine, most winemakers don’t intervene in the winemaking at all.
How Natural Wine and Conventional Wine Differs in Taste
When it comes to the final product, there are a few distinct differences. Not only in the clarity of the wine but often also in the taste. Many claim that natural wine has a distinctive characteristic with cider-like notes. In some situations, natural wine also has a natural fizziness due to the fermentation process and not clarifying the wine.
In terms of health, natural wine has shown to be slightly less harmful than conventional wine. While alcohol is still present in both cases, natural wine has fewer negative traits. The fact that no synthetic products are used during the grape growing and winemaking process ensures that the natural wine has all the good qualities that one would expect from wine, like its heart-health qualities.
Why Natural Wine is Important for Sustainable Efforts
While conventional wine has always remained the wine of preference, we cannot emphasize enough how crucial natural wine is in the fight for sustainability in the wine industry.
The efforts in the vineyard and cellar play an enormous role in creating sustainable and eco-friendly wine. First and foremost, the lack of pest control in the vineyards is significant for natural habitats and animals that are always in the crossfire when using these sprays and fertilizers.
In the wine cellar, by allowing the wine to complete its natural process with little intervention, it has encouraged little usage of electric machinery, essentially reducing more carbon footprint.
While each winery thinks that its efforts to create natural wine will go unrecognized, it is a major step forward in the sustainability movement. More consumers will come to accept natural wine and explore more natural alternatives in the quest to pursue sustainability.
Natural wine and conventional wine differ significantly in how the grapes are grown, how the wines are made, and how the wines taste.
With natural wine, nothing is added or removed from the wine, while conventional wines focus on making it as appealing to consumers as possible.
Natural wine is the way forward when it comes to sustainable winemaking since it reduces its impact on the environment and consumers.