There are words which are frequently used in the everyday language and becoming trendy even though there are very few who know their meaning. One of those is surely the expression “natural wine”.
Nowadays many talk about it, drink it but few of they are able to skillfully reason about it. The adjective “natural” supporting the noun “wine” makes us think of an “authentic” product with beneficial properties both to the environment and to those consuming it. This is not completely wrong, on the contrary, but how do we obtain an authentic “natural wine”?
- The most important aspect is the care of the vineyard. Grapes picked in a vineyard farmed according to organic and biodynamic agriculture and being in perfect health, will “naturally” give us a wonderful juice.
- It’s important that the grapes are picked at their right ripening stage. The harvest has to be made by hand, in order to decide which are the worthy bunches. The harvesting machine, brutal and rough, can’t unfortunately substitute the eyesight and care of a person using shears.
- After pressing the grapes the fermentation starts, transforming sugar into alcohol. The INDIGENOUS yeasts, found on the grapes and most of all in the cellar, allow it to start naturally. Natural wine making presents uncertainties and risks, which are the reason why the wine industry very often uses SELECTED yeasts. These guarantee the fermentation’s start, but deplete the wine from an aromatic point of view, producing olfactory standardized wines which don’t express at all the “terroir” they’re coming from.
- In natural wine making also other procedures aimed at “modifying and distorting” the product are not being used, such as: tartaric precipitation (thermic shock to clarify the wine); clarification (clarifying using invasive substances like isinglass or bentonite); filtration (clarifying with more or less tight filters); adding high quantities of sulfur dioxide (to stabilize and “disinfect” the wine); acidification (adding tartaric acid); de-acidification (adding calcium carbonate); adding artificial tannins; sugaring of grape juice (adding rectified concentrated must produced by the wine industry to increase the wine’s alcohol content); reverse osmosis on the must (the forced passage of the must through a membrane to obtain a more concentrated liquid); enzymes (with various supportive effects on wine making) etc……
- It’s important to decide when “to rack”, i.e. when to decant, which containers to use, for how long to let the wine mature, when to bottle, for how long to let it age in the bottles before having a finished product. During these stages it’s important for the wine maker’s hand to be unobtrusive in order to obtain a purer wine.
We at Fattoria La Maliosa have chosen the road of the most delicate and complex wine making, but also the one which we’re certain will give the best results in full respect of nature and the final product.
Our wines follow an intelligent and high quality path. During the wine making they are not submitted to any of the a.m. invasive procedures, the fermentation is spontaneous (without any temperature control).
Frequent decanting ensures a better cleanliness of the product and then aging in wood follows, to allow the wine to acquire over time more smoothness, structure and clarity, as well as a significant evolution of the aromas and fragrances. The result is a mature wine, ready to face many years of life which, over time, can still improve.
The choice made at La Maliosa, like the one of other producers of natural wines, is not only ethical, personal and environmentally sound, but most of all respecting the end consumer.