The term ‘natural wine’ is more of a concept than something that can be clearly defined. At its most stringent interpretation it means that a wine has only been made from fermented grape juice and nothing else. Unfortunately, due to the complex techniques that are used in modern wine-making (and the necessity of using certain chemicals when growing grapes) this is an almost impossible ideal.
When people ask ‘What is natural wine?’, the answer most often give is that it is wine produced with the minimum of intervention of chemicals and other artificial techniques. Natural wine should be made with grapes that have not been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides and that have been picked by hand. These grapes, in turn, must be turned into wine using only native yeast and include no additional additives. However, to achieve anything that is remotely drinkable some sulfides, preservatives and additives must be used. Natural wine refers to wine that minimizes these as much as possible.