Natural, Organic, Naked wines… What does it all mean?
In previous Youngberg Hill blogs, we have discussed the practices of organic, sustainable, and biodynamic farming; and how they translate to the vineyard and in the wine. There are many terms flying around these days (natural, organic, naked, etc.) trying to describe grape growing and wine making that is “unmanipulated” by man. Well, good luck with that one. If the grapes are grown in a vineyard, if wine is made in a winery, if the wine is bottled, or any number of other actions, then the wine is manipulated and not an exclusive product of nature. We are pretty confident that any wine anyone has tasted has been manipulated in one way or another both in the vineyard and/or the winery by man.
So what are we really after? We are trying to make the best wine possible from the best grapes possible that best reflect the soil, weather, climate, and environment. The “nature” from which those grapes are grown is the goal. We are not trying to make a wine to have certain characteristics, to be consistent from year to year, or to be more “point” attractive. For example, we can never make a wine that is “Burgundian”. We may make a wine that is similar in style, i.e. lower in alcohol, higher acidity, more earthiness, and more age worthy. It will however, like a Burgundian wine, reflect the “terrior” from which the grapes are grown, not Burgundy.
That is why Youngberg Hill makes two different wines from our estate. Even though the two blocks of the vineyard are only 200 yards apart; they are on different soil, at different altitudes, have different temperatures, and different air currents. As a result, the wine from the grapes from those two blocks present very different flavors and characteristics.
That is what Youngberg Hill is doing, produce wines that are reflective of where the grapes are grown and what the growing conditions were like in that year.
What are your thoughts on “natural” wines?