Skip to content
Fynbos Estate +27 22 487 1153 • info@fynbosestate.co.za

What is natural wine?

This is a question often asked of us. Isn’t all wine natural because it comes from grapes?  The answer is no, it isn’t!

Making natural wine starts in the vineyard.   The vines, for example ours, are farmed organically – which means no herbicides or pesticides are used. We do in fact weed our vines by hand which is rather a long and expensive business.  All vineyards everywhere  are sprayed against fungicides of various kinds. Usually systemic poisons are used and sprayed high in the area to reach as many vines as possible. But of course this poisons a large area too. We use hand sprayed sulphur ( both copper and sulphur are considered organic measures) so that a minimum is used. Thereafter nothing.

 

The grapes are picked by hand and then brought to the winery – in our case traveling and average of  500 metres. – and there they are crushed and destemmed, pressed lightly to avoid bitter tastes, and then put into tank or barrel. Nothing is added. Fermentation occurs through the wild yeasts that live on the grape skins and the sugars are in the grape and never added.  Manipulations occur only around how long they care kept on skins or in barrel or how they are later blended.

This is very unlike commercial wineries where yeasts are added sometimes with particular flavours, and various other chemicals added or extracted. If the wine is too dark colour is extracted, If too light colour is added With so much interference the worry is that the wine won’t be stable over time so sulphur and other chemicals are added.

I was very shocked when visiting a commercial winery nearby to discover a pile of chemicals twice as high and my body ,of stuff that was to be added to the wine. Of course I do understand that this allows the wine to be homogeneous from year to year – but still ….. all that rubbish in my body?????. And it’s interesting isn’t it that while all food requires ingredients to be put on the label, wine doesn’t.  So you’ll never know what you are really drinking.

Well this is not how we work. Our wine is au terroir. In other words we make the wine of the year, Each year the challenge is to make wine which reflects that part6icular season. This means for example that our pilotage for 2015 had an alcohol content of while the same wine of 20-16 had an alcohol content of . This is just how it is. You get it how it is that very year.

 

We also don’t filtrate of fine which means sometimes  tiny crystals form on the bottom of the bottle.  Commercial wineries filter and fine using various substances so that this doesn’t happen.

 

Natural winemaking is truly and alchemy. And alchemy of chance and design. We make authentic wine in an authentic way. Yields are low ( we don’t for example irrigate our bush vines at all ) but flavours are therefore intense. And you can rest assured you are getting healthy wine good for your body if not for your taste buds.

Oh and the cherry on the (egg free) cake, so to speak is that all our wines are vegan!