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Natural Wine

Jayne’s has been exploring the world of Natural wines. The Natural wine movement arose out of France, with its epicenter in the Loire Valley. This movement is dedicated to producing wines in a traditional manner with very little technological and/or chemical intervention. This is not to be confused with organic or biodynamics. The grapes may be organic or biodynamic but the winemaking might involve techniques that mask the essence of the fruit or terroir from whence they came. There are very polarized voices on the subject both in France and here in the states. One particular voice is Alice Feiring that has waged all out war upon commoditized wines and the ubiquitous wine luminary Robert Parker. We are still very much in apprenticeship on the subject but the story is a fascinating one. I came across a compendium of Natural wine ideas by Joe Dressner out of NYC which I thought might people may find interesting. Joe is an importer and distributor so there is a hint of commerce in this list. Nonetheless, it lays out some important tenets of Natural wine and his voice is very powerful in the movement. There will be more on this subject in the near future…

Real Wine by Joe Dressner
The following techniques and guiding principles are what we believe is winemaking with integrity and respect for the traditions of the native region. This is fine winemaking at its purest, most fundamental level.

Wild Yeasts
All wines are made with the natural yeasts on the grapes, in the vineyards and in the cellars. Cultured yeasts to rush fermentation or add “enhancing” aromas and flavors are unacceptable. We look for wines that express their terroir.

Hand Harvesting
Growers harvest by hand, not machine. We want the ripest fruit to be brought into the winery- not a mix picked at random by machinery.

Low Yields
Our growers must seek low yields for greater concentration. We look for growers with holdings in old
vines.

Natural Viticulture
We encourage growers to plow their vineyards to keep the soil an active ecosystem, and to use natural methods in tending their vines.

No or Minimal Chaptalization
We do not want an artificially high degree of alcohol produced by adding sugar to the must. Non- or very slightly chaptalized wines are more enjoyable and healthier to drink.

Non-Filtration
Wines are either not filtered or minimally filtered.

Non-Interventionist Winemaking
We prefer a harmony, not an imposed style – wines should showcase their place of origin and varietal character. We are not looking for oak flavor, particular fruits or overly done aromatics. Minimal use of sulfur dioxide is encouraged.

Quality Control
We taste at our growers several times before and after bottling before shipping wines. Where possible, we work with the vigneron to make special blends representing the very best wines in their cellar.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Coby #

    Love the new site! great info, keep it up.

    -C

    May 22, 2008

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  1. Two Great Natural Wines Are Back « Jayne’s Gastropub

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