There’s no official industry-backed definition for “natural wine,” but here at Wine Fellas, we start in the vineyard, with the requirement that the wine must be organic or biodynamic equivalent. Chemicals and herbicides, such as Roundup, are never used in the vineyards. Pest management and soil health is achieved by utilizing cover crops and natural predators only. Yields are low, and grapes are hand-harvested.
In the cellar, intervention is kept to an absolute minimum. Only wild, native yeast is used in fermentation. There are no additions of sugar, and no use of harmful additives or chemicals, with minimal filtration. Only natural fining agents are used, if any. If sulfur dioxide is added, which occurs naturally during fermentation, it’s minimal. When oak treatment is used, it’s exclusively “old” or neutral so it does not impart noticeable flavors into the wine. Our producers follow the “nothing added, nothing removed” philosophy, and are considered true low-interventionists.
A note about producers of conventional wines: they often value consistency above all else to keep up with supply and demand, which sometimes means sacrificing a wine’s true character through overuse of sulfur dioxide and chemical manipulation, in order to duplicate one vintage to the next. This is what you’re used to. We invite you to have your mind blown. Once you experience a truly natural wine, you’ll notice how much better you feel, and how reviving it tastes — without harm to the environment. Just as it was traditionally meant to be enjoyed, natural wine more closely replicates what our ancestors consumed for the last 7000 years. Only in the last few 100 years has advanced technology developed in winemaking.
For millennia, making wine was dead simple. You just grew a bunch of grapes, crushed them, put their juice into a vessel, and let ambient yeast work its magic to ferment that juice into wine. Nature did all the work. Over time, human interventions were developed to solve grape growing and winemaking problems, but with every new tool, the experience of drinking wine became one step further removed from the simple ideals of our ancestors. As vineyards adapted to industrial farming and wine cellars built labs filled with chemicals and technology, wine lost its way. Today, so many wines — especially those found in grocery stores — taste pretty much the same, stripped of character, mass-produced, and too often dosed with unwelcome adulterants.
Natural wines are made as they were before science and technology took over. The challenges have always been there, the difference is that before the industrial age, winemakers found natural ways to solve them. And those natural ways still work — by engaging mindfully with nature, by nurturing the vineyard and observing carefully, rather than imposing control. Let the grapes express themselves: this is the Wine Fellas way.This is the way of the past, but so obviously the way of the future.