While there's no strict definition of natural wine, read Decanter's natural wine charter below...

TAGS:

What is natural wine? – ask Decanter

As there is no strict definition of ‘natural wine’, deciding the entry criteria for samples for our natural wine tasting was not easy.

To help, we sought advice from members of the industry noted for their expertise in natural wines: Doug Wregg from UK importer/retailer Les Caves de Pyrene, which is behind The Real Wine Fair; Isabelle Legeron MW, the creator of the RAW wine fairs in London, New York and Berlin; David Harvey of UK shipper and retailer Raeburn; Monty Waldin, author and consultant on organic, biodynamic and sustainable viticulture; and Simon Woolf, a writer who specialises in organic, biodynamic and natural wines.



After collating the responses, we came up with our own Decanter charter of quality for natural wines which we used as a basis for entry:

• Vineyards farmed organically or biodynamically – certification was strongly preferred, but uncertified wines were accepted
• Hand-harvested only
• Fermentation with indigenous (wild) yeasts
• No enzymes
• No additives added (such as acid, tannin, colouring) other than SO2
• SO2 levels no higher than 70mg/l total
• Unfined, and no (or light) filtration
• No other heavy manipulation (such as spinning cone, reverse osmosis, cryoextraction, rapid-finishing, Ultraviolet C irradiation)

  • Got a question for Decanter’s experts? Email us: editor@decanter.com or using #askDecanter

More on natural wine:

The Remedy

Best natural wine bars in London

With benefits for health, the environment and your wallet, natural wine is the latest must-try trend in innovative winemaking...