The grape debate: Setting the record straight on natural wine

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  • by CALLAN BOYS  May 15 2018 at 12:00 AM, published in GOODFOOD

Why has there been such a significant rise the popularity of natural wine? And how does the conventional wine industry respond to this growing thirst?

Forget the comeback of chardonnay or the rise of brosé, the biggest wine trend of the past 10 years has been around so called natural wine. Although natural wine is a very small fraction of Australia's total wine production, conversations surrounding this new (but actually very old) frontier of wine are myriad in newspapers, bottle shops, restaurants, pubs and wine fairs around the country. And the noise is not dying. If anything, it is getting louder.


Dr Irina Santiago-Brown: At my winery we make what a lot of what people call natural wine.However, we don't call ourselves natural winemakers. We simply make wine fermented with no commercial yeasts and we don't correct our wines with additives. I'm a bit conflicted with the label natural wine. I think wine is wine and you are either able or unable to make a good one.


Dr Irina Santiago-Brown: Are all natural wines made from organic or biodynamic grapes? No, but they should be. Perhaps there should be, unfortunately, an industry standard for natural winemaking.


Dr Irina-Santiago Brown: I'm not a fan of faulty wines in general, but I accept the idea that a lot of people, especially younger drinkers, start to drink these wines because they're more connected with sour tastes or because they're beer drinkers. And sometimes when pairing with food they can work beautifully.

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