Natural winemaking is now a badge of quality craftsmanship in the vineyards and winery as natural wines respect the environment and the consumer. Natural wines are often organic, sometimes bio-dynamic, and definitely made with fewer additives than more industrial wines, notably sulphur.
Even a few years ago natural wines could be a hippy-ish smokescreen for sloppy work and dodgy hygiene in the winery. Now natural practices are becoming mainstream with positive results for everyone including you – the wine lover!
Take our Ballon organic red Côtes du Rhône. We blend it every year at Estézargues, France’s most natural wine cooperative. Ballon is always made with only natural yeast, no additives except tiny amounts of sulphur at bottling, unrefined and unfiltered. The Ballon 2015 edition is now made entirely with organically farmed fruit. It’s a lovely, even juicier southern Rhône blend of Syrah and Grenache with a bit of Mourvèdre, a joyful, sustainable wine rather than a big, heavily-oaked headache bomb.
There’s a fundamentalist streak that seeks to contrast ‘natural’ wines as a separate category. We see a virtuous spectrum with a simple logic: better soil, better fruit, better wine. Over half the wines on our list are well advanced on that virtuous road. Come and share the joy of natural wines with us!