Natural Wine can mean many things to many people. At Corelli Wines, we work on the principal of low intervention; the wines that have the least amount of things added to them, other than grapes, are the most natural; as the theory goes..
When we are visiting wineries, we look for a few things to determine for ourselves if a wine can be called natural, and they are as follows:
1. No added commercial yeasts. Natural wines get their yeast to start fermentation, from the skins, seeds and stems of the grapes.
2. No added Sulphite. Sulphite is added to wines for the purposes of UV stabilisation and clarifying the wine to provide clear looking wine, not cloudy. Sulphite is also added to sterilise the wines, thus removing any naturally occurring strains of bacteria that provide great depth of flavour! Basically, if you are not very good at making wine, you can add lots of sulphite and it will 'look' correct.
3. No fining agents. Fining agents are used to collect and clump together dead yeast cells from the fermented wine. Fining agents are therefore a form of chemical filtering that helps to clarify the wine. However, dead yeast is harmless and provides further flavours to the wine. Worryingly, the fining agent used in manny cheaper wines is crushes seashell, sea urchin and fish bones. So this is why you might find wine that is not classed as vegetarian.
4. No chemical fertilisers and pesticides are used in the vineyard. Generally, if a winery is going through all the effort to make a low intervention and natural wine, because of their beliefs on what wine should be, they are not the type of people to spoil their vineyards with chemicals. Irrespective of the level of intervention wineries may go to, all of our winery partners at Corelli Wines completely reject the use of any such chemicals and pesticides.
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