What is Natural Wine?
Natural wine refers to wine made with minimal human intervention during its production and aging process, emphasizing organic or biodynamic viticulture, without the use of synthetic pesticides or additives. Typically, natural wines are unfiltered, without added sulfites or other chemicals, resulting in a more authentic expression of the grape and terroir, often with distinct and unconventional flavors compared to conventionally-produced wines.
Natural wine vs Conventional wine
Natural wines and conventional wines are distinct in their production philosophies. While conventional wines frequently employ additives like commercial yeasts, sulfites, and other stabilizing agents for uniformity, natural wines veer away from such enhancements, emphasizing minimal intervention. This approach in natural wines prioritizes an unadulterated reflection of their terroir, even at the risk of flavor unpredictability.
The surge in popularity of natural wines, especially from emerging regions like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria, signals a broader shift towards valuing wine authenticity. This trend not only celebrates the uniqueness of flavors but also places a premium on sustainable and organic viticulture practices.
Czech, Slovakian, and Austrian Wines
The Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria, while not immediately associated with global wine dominance, all possess rich winemaking legacies. Nestled in Central Europe, these nations benefit from climates and terrains that nurture a diverse range of grape varieties and unique wine styles.
Moravia in the Czech Republic reveres age-old techniques like spontaneous fermentation. Their signature grape, Grüner Veltliner, produces aromatic wines.
Slovakia, while respecting tradition, experiments with different aging vessels. Meanwhile, Austria is renowned for its crisp white wines, especially those from the Wachau region, and its own versions of Grüner Veltliner, showcasing a balance of minerality and fruitiness.