The Case For Drinking Natural Wine

Eoghan Neburagho-Gregg
5 min readNov 25, 2020

Drinking natural wine is a cleaner, more ethical alternative to any other wine on the market.

It isn’t everywhere just yet, but you can feel and blatantly see it’s ready to rise into vogue. Natural wine, in short, is a wine made from organic, hand-picked grapes. It’s a wine that has nothing added to it and nothing is taken away from it in the winemaking procedure. That means minimal human intervention, no help from chemicals or additives and no stripping the wine of its integrity by mass filtration or fining.

It’s a raw, living product.

Natural wine is a healthier option made by just grapes, a humble winemaker, an ageing vessel, and of course, a few hundred glass bottles for it to live in.

Yes, it might be more expensive than your typical bottle of wine price. However, opting for a more expensive bottle of natural wine is the nothing less than ethical and responsible. You’re choosing to help fund the livelihood of an independent winemaker, a small shop owner and better yet, you’re drinking a naturally made wine that’s healthier for your body and the planet.

Here’s Why You Should Drink Natural Wine

The Health Benefits

Let’s start with the basics – grapes contain certain antioxidants (especially red grapes) called polyphenols, grapes make these polyphenols to protect against harsh growing conditions such as frost, bacteria and fungi in the vineyard.

When you consume wine, those polyphenols help protect your body similarly, they fight radicals from stressing out your cells.

Nearly every Blue Zone – a region with the longest living people – has moderate alcohol consumption as part of its culture. The wine they drink, however, is not commercial wine; it’s natural wine.

Wines without additives or chemicals like natural wine boast a large number of polyphenols because they are not filtered in the winemaking process. Natural wine is a living product which also means it has a large variety of probiotics and precious bacteria which can protect your gut from pathogens, which decrease inflammation.

According to a 2007 study out of Finland, wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than beer or spirit drinkers.

Because Conventional Wine is Bad For You and Our Planet

Conventional wine is the exact opposite of natural wine, it’s defined by technical intervention.

From the vineyard to the cellar, there’s an intervention in the form of lab-grown yeasts, herbicides and pesticides. Each chemical the producer decides to put on or in their wine/vines damages the earth’s soil with long-lasting effects, we’ve been put on this planet to enjoy and protect it, not push it to its absolute limit before self-destruction.

Conventional winemakers add sugar during the winemaking process to create the perception of body. Most conventional wine is also filtered or ‘clarified’ through egg white and isinglass made from fish bladders, which is far from vegetarian or vegan and is poorly labelled if even, on most bottles for sale in shops.

“A lot of wine is a grape product, plus all these millions of additives to create a product that is reliably the same every year” Jenny Francois

Natural Wine Works WITH The Planet

Cheap, mass-produced wine come from winery’s that have mimicked farming practices from industrial agriculture, where they use synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and various other chemicals within the vineyard. This is not just incredibly harmful to the planet’s soil, but to the planet itself.

And yes, natural wine has its flaws with regards to the well-being of the planet; it travels long distances, sits in refrigerated ships and containers, but these logistical adversities are the only true downfall of natural wine. They are taken because they’re the only logistical options available right now.

There’s no magic wand we can wave to get goods from one place to another without sitting in a ship or truck - not yet anyway. Amy Antwood, LA Natural Wine Importer

Natural wines are made from organic grapes at least, meaning independent winemakers pay anal attention to their soil. The natural wine community gives back to our planet by taking care of its soil, taking no nutrients away, and in fact, adds both natural nutrients and life forms I.e earthworms back into the soil.

“Long degraded by industrial agriculture, regenerating our soil is one of our most promising solutions to climate change, and the natural wine movement fits…naturally…into that conversation” BonApettit

Supporting Small Businesses is The Right Thing To Do

As you might have gathered already, the natural wine movement is made up of hundreds of tiny little independent producers, suppliers and industry advocates.

Essentially it’s a community that especially supports small businesses.

Now there could be some corporate-back producers and suppliers out there labelling themselves as natural (which for me, goes against the true essence of natural wine) but they are in the minority and most certainly keep their business decisions in the darkness.

It’s important to support a small business like a natural winery because you’re helping out an honest, hardworking business owner who could have been hit even harder than you by these economically unstable times.

We need to keep small businesses open to keep the remains of community and society intact.

Small businesses are important to the economic and social fabric of our society, and we all play a part in their survival. Dayna Winter, Shopify

Supporting a small business by buying their wine can also be a point of discovery for yourself. Independent wineries have the freedom to express diversity and uniqueness to their wines, meaning you will always have a better shopping experience with me and improving bottles of wine on offer.

Drinking natural wine is the right way to consume alcohol, not just because it’s made from organic grapes or it’s minimal/intervention background, but because it’s handmade product that came from the bare hands of an independent winemaker.

There’s no help from economically harming machines, just a winemaker and his/her ageing vessels trying to make a living for themself.

You want to get behind transparent business models like a natural winery because it’s n honest way of life as opposed to joining the conveyor belt owned by big corporations who couldn’t care less about your quality of life, just your currency.