Natural Wine Explained
So, what is natural wine?
Our definition of natural wine is, wine made with nothing added or anything removed during the winemaking process.
Why make natural wine, when you can try and make a wine taste the same every year?
At Sans Wine Co. we feel that the best, most pure expressions of vineyard site, vineyard location, and vintage come from producing a wine with little and ideally no manipulation. Across the board for our wines we use stainless steel or neutral vessels in the fermentation and aging process. We never fine or filter because we feel that it is typically done for aesthetic purposes and can strip a wine of amazing aromas and flavors. In addition, we never use any preservatives to stabilize our wines.
Isn’t all wine natural?
There is a very long list of allowable products in the production of wine. From products used to adjust a wine’s chemistry, structure, flavor, color, and aroma; to harmful chemicals used to attempt to preserve a wine, most consumers would be, at a minimum, surprised and, at a maximum, appalled at what may be used in the production of their favorite wines. We believe that if you produce amazing grapes in the vineyard and harvest them at the proper time, it’s actually very easy to make wines in a natural style. Conventional wine is produced with a goal of creating consistency and replicating a wine’s flavors year in and year out. It is our belief that a conventional approach is antithetical to the romantic nature of winemaking. We further believe that amazing wine has been produced for thousands of years without chemical manipulation, and we think aluminum cans are the answer for long term preservation of natural wines, and potential flaws caused by spoilage.
What’s up with the can?
Aluminum can packaging for wine is finally getting its day in the sun. Cans are an incredibly stable environment and as a result the necessity for using preservatives in canned wine is minimized and we believe eliminated. We dose all our canned wines with liquid nitrogen to bubble out any oxygen, fill the headspace with a non-reactive gas, and to achieve an outward can wall pressure. There is no UV penetration with the can, no oxygen exchange like with a cork, and cans hold temperatures better than glass bottles. Also, cans are much more eco-friendly than glass bottles. Glass is difficult to recycle in its entirety, due to breakage. Aluminum cans are 100% recyclable, and typically already in the recycling stream (this means our cans are already made from recycled aluminum). We ship over twice as many cases of our canned wines as their bottled equivalent, on one pallet. Shipping and packaging costs are lower as well, which allows us to provide better quality wine to our customers at lower prices. Canned wine for the win! If you need more proof about why we love the environmental aspects of aluminum packaging, check out Esther Mobley’s article in the SF Chronicle here.