Originally called ‘live wines’, ‘authentic’, or simply ‘raw’ or ‘naked’ wines, the now consensually designated natural wines, are not merely a trend, they are a true and ever more confident movement in the wine world.
Ancient knowledge with a new grammar
Natural wines are rooted in a conscious philosophy that speaks to the hearts of all those who care about the pressing biofriendly and ‘bio-pleasurable’ environmental issues that question and combat mass production, which, through chemical processing and artificial additives, turns everything into industrialization on a global scale. They are introducing other dialects, organic languages that appeal to respect for nature and its biodiversity, and are recovering knowledge from yesterday, in search of the new approaches of tomorrow. They use a contemporary grammar that experiments with skill, ingenuity and creativity, the primer of biological and biodynamic culture and the urgency of sustainable good practices on all fronts. They use production methods that reject chemical fertilizers, additives or corrective practices, in favour of ancestral ways of winemaking, where composting, manure and native yeasts are the main focus of the whole process of vineyard fertilization and wine fermentation. They are, in the purist sense of the term, wines with low or no intervention throughout the whole process. You could also call them a healthy return to the past.
Connected to the land and the future
Supported by techniques and solid knowledge that was already practised in the distant past, natural wines are a result of this desire to return to respecting and honouring Nature, its cycles, the wisdom of the earth, to balance natural alchemies, with little or no intervention by man, directing the palate to products less processed and manipulated by artificial additives. Julia Kemper, a name that is being added to the increasing number of producers seduced by natural wines, is making a conscious effort in this reconnection with the land, and has taken on a serious commitment to seek a balance between Man and Nature. The wines she includes in national and foreign wine lists are ones that provide a satisfactory and thoughtful response to all of those who care about the origin of what they consume. A response that encourages a balanced future, in which the actions of man will not supplant or damage that of nature and where more products in all areas may use the adjective ‘natural’.
Natural wines are the fruit of natural, organic, biological and biodynamic agriculture, and are regarded by winemakers and connoisseurs as energetic, light, vibrant, expressive wines with a purity different from those obtained by conventional methods. They are wines with personality, which proudly assume each of their virtues and characteristics, as honest people do;. they have crossed borders since alternative hype of Paris has led to their being adopted in bars, restaurants and even some niche stores. The avant-garde folk of New York, London and Tokyo were quick to tap into these ‘new’ wines, identifying with the experience of new flavours and falling in love with the whole underlying philosophy, because any step forward is always the fruit of collective wills. Nowadays this is very much oriented towards individual responsibility, since if each individual changes, the whole world changes. From this first novelty flavour, a kind of new social capital in some independent circles, natural wines have been criticized by traditionalists of conventional techniques, but, in the end, they have impressed so much for the passion of their philosophy, supported as much by secular forms of making wine without using chemicals, as for their quality and their enormously vivacious flavour. They have a short but consistent track record, which makes it clear first and foremost that natural wines are anything but a trend. In fact, they are a sure step forward in the wine-growing future. Despite the fact that their methods go back to the earliest days of wine production, they are endowed with new knowledge and driven by the urgency of sustainability.
In the end, we can all agree that what is natural is good.