We all know what red wine is, but do we reeeeaaally know what a natural red wine is? The fundamen...Read More...
We all know what red wine is, but do we reeeeaaally know what a natural red wine is?
The fundamental characteristics are as such: dark-skinned grapes are picked from the vine, crushed ever so slightly to break their skins, left to macerate in the now starting to ferment juice; imparting tannin, colour, flavour. After the ideal amount of time for the winemaker, this mix of juice and solids is separated then put into a vessel that houses them until they finish fermenting, and then onwards whilst they age. This method can be tweaked and tailored depending on regional preferences, tradition, variety, experimentation, however, all red wines will have gone through some semblance of this process. The difference with the wines that we curate at Winona, is that alongside this, we stock natural wines. These are wines that are unfettered, energetic, engaging, exciting. They are farmed progressively, from makers who prioritise this in their viticultural practice: implementing organics, permaculture, biodynamics, or simply integrating sustainability to previously uncared for vineyards. The methods they use are gentle and lo-fi – natural wines are not tailored, they are expressive of the place they came from. No fining, no filtering, avoiding the use of chemicals or preservatives, keeping machinery to the minimum and always picking by hand. These time-consuming processes ensure the most expressive and beautiful fruit, and thus, the most beautiful natural wines. They keep their natural properties, antioxidants, natural microbes, water, and help to make you feel better when you drink, mentally ;)
At Winona, we take pride in ranging natural red wines that encompass all styles and sections of the world. Natural red wines can sit outside of tradition in terms of look or feel, but there are plenty that fit within the bracket of what we currently know. The beauty is, when you look through the wines we stock, you can be assured you are making a more ethical decision by the environment, and taking care of smaller producers and growers.
The two biggest differences to look for when purchasing the perfect natural red wine for you, are variety and maceration method. If you prefer lighter, less textural, fruit-forward wines: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Grenache, Cinsault, Valpolicella blends. Wines that have been carbonically macerated, or held on their skins for shorter amounts of time imparting less tannin, and wines from cooler climates ensuring brighter acidity and prettier fruit. More medium bodied wines will find you seeking Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Barbera. Look for the middle of Italy, warmer New World regions such as Australia or South Africa, and the South of France. Like it broody and moody? Malbec, Shiraz, Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon. Chile, Barolo, Barossa, America and Bordeaux will be your best mates.
Amidst the covetable Claret, the sensuous Sangiovese, boozy Blaufrankisch, malleable Merlot, gracious Grenache, the friend who reliably turns up to the party every time no matter the context – Pinot Noir, Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Shiraz. Or perhaps you prefer Indie recluses like Grolleau, Ploussard, Mondeuse, Xinomavro, Blaufrankisch, Pais, Pinotage...There’s a red out there for every palate, every mood, every milestone.Read Less...