We like our wines funky and organic
Vintage is always in vogue and that’s the case with the resurgent popularity of natural wine in bars and restaurants across the US. Natural wine uses grapes that are grown without chemical intervention (using biodynamic and permaculture methods) and vinted without additives or stabilizing agents like high levels of sulfites. By showcasing the grape as it was grown and using the yeasts naturally present, natural winemakers aim to make a product that is as close to the terroir and inherent beauty of the varietal as possible.
If you’re looking to try something a little funky and different, natural wine might just be for you. Here are a few natural winemakers that Dominic Fiore, the sommelier at Bar Marco and a self-declared “natural wine nerd” thinks you should be paying attention.
“She’s one of my favorite winemakers. I always say she’s the OG of natural wine in Oregon,” says Fiore.
Brianne Day spent two years traveling wine regions, tasting her way through wines as well as time at restaurants and a cooperage before settling into Oregon’s Willamette Valley to produce wine in 2012.
Each member of the Michlits family, owners of Meinklang, specializes in different aspects of farming. The Austrian vineyard sources its organic fertilizer from its companion family-owned cattle farm as well as its sheep and cattle.
Bee and Ross Maloof are a wife-and-husband team in Dundee, Oregon with a sizable cult-following. “You’ll never see their wines on the shelves in Pennsylvania. It all goes to restaurants. He has a lot of friends here,” says Fiore. Keep an eye out for their whites on lists when you’re going out for a glass.
Yetti & the Kokonut
These two friends-turned-winemakers are producing quirky wines from sustainable vineyards in south Australia. The company is named for their affectionate nicknames for each other.
Col fondo means “with the bottom” in Italian. This denotes that there is sediment or lees present in the wine since it’s undergone its secondary fermentation inside the bottle. It often leads to a drier, less sweet wine.