Natural wine. Does it exist? Not really. At least if we think that natural is something that exists in nature and that was not created by man. In this sense, there are no natural wines, because they all exist through human intervention. However, this nomenclature is permitted in cases where the intervention of the man - the winemaker - is minimal. This is called natural wine.
The issue is not consensual. The most fundamentalists do not accept this nomenclature. And for that reason, as an alternative, these wines have also been called "wines of minimal intervention", which in fact is even more correct. The important thing is to know that this wine is really the greatest challenge for the winemaker, since there is no net to hold us if something goes wrong in the production of this wine.
Natural wine is that wine in which the only ingredient is grapes, nothing else goes into its composition. It is that wine in which the winemaker only accompanies the transformation of grapes into wine in order to obtain the purest wine possible.
It is the maximum expression of the terroir, since there is no outside intervention. Only the winemaker's wisdom counts. And that makes this naturally fermented wine a unique wine.
Natural wine starts in the vineyard, starts with the grape grower who in the vineyard is also minimalist in his intervention. Be it natural vinho verde wine, be it natural red wine, natural white wine or even a natural sweet wine, it has to start in the vineyard and with respect for its biodiversity. In other words, a natural wine is usually originated from biological and / or biodynamic viticulture.
Respect for biodiversity in the vineyard is essential in the production of natural wine, as this is where the wine is born, from indigenous yeasts and all other micro-organisms that also inhabit the vine.
In the cellar, it is produced in the same way as conventional wines, and what makes the difference is minimal intervention, with the premise that nothing goes beyond the grapes, not even sulfur, also known as sulfites. This implies that even when the wine is made and ready to be bottled there is no intervention by man, that is, there is no fining or filtration, only and just only its bottling.
And so a wine is born that will behave like a living organism in the bottle and over the years of aging, until it is time to open the bottle and enjoy.
Natural wine in Portugal still has little expression. Few winemakers risk this way of producing wine, but it is no longer difficult to find anyone who does. Look for some of the Alentejo amphora wines, which are usually produced with minimal intervention. There is still very little natural vinho verde wine, but natural red wine is already found in almost all regions of the country. We have the Cascale brand in which all wines are produced with natural fermentation.
You can buy natural wine directly from the producer and this is the easiest way. There are very few cellars that have these wines, but this too is changing. Of course, the most professional wine cellars can do this job for you and reach the producer to bring you the best wines. But if you like a good challenge and want a different wine, it's worth looking for!
Believe that it will have a naturally special flavor.