What is “Natural” Wine anyway?

Natural wine, often called real wine or raw wine, is made by farmers growing grapes sustainably, then harvested and fermented with careful, but minimal intervention in the cellar. No chemical herbicides or pesticides are used in the vineyard. Fermentation happens with indigenous/wild yeast (no commercial yeasts). Minimal or no added sulfur, though use of sulfur is of secondary importance after mindful, organic farming. No additives or refining agents, and preferably no new oak. The natural wine movement has been gaining exposure in the past few decades, but the practice itself is centuries-old and in many ways a return to the way wine used to (and should) be made.

Crocodile Wine sources wines that meet this standard. Some are certified organic, but most aren’t because the organic certification is super expensive and most of these farmers work on a very small scale, and with limited budget. Some, but not all, practice an even more rigorous holistic farming technique called biodynamics. All the farmer/producers we work with follow sustainable farming so that their vineyards are part of a clean eco-system. They use careful, but minimal, intervention in the cellar in order to let the “natural” qualities of the climate, soil, vine and grape shine through in the wine.

We believe wine made transparently invites the drinker to experience the wine fully: the sense of place, the emotion and energy contained within. It allows us to check in with nature, like a hike in a dense forest, a swallow of cold mountain air, or a dunk in a salty ocean. Some of the wines are funky, others are elegant, some are mysterious, and some are just light and fun. Drink these wines whenever and however you want, but try to pair them with friends.

Check out A Beginner’s Guide to Natural Wine (GQ) and So, What Exactly is Natural Wine? (Bon Appetit) to dive deeper!