What Is Natural Wine?


Natural wine, while popular in larger metropolitan areas such as New York City, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles, is somewhat new to the greater Fresno area. When we launched Quail State rooftop bar in Downtown Fresno, natural wine was one of the first things we wanted to introduce to this area. 

And why not? Fresno has a rich, storied winemaking heritage. After all, Fresno's grape production contributes much to the US wine market. In fact, Fresno's grapes have been used for decades in commercial winemaking as additives such as dyes, acids, and sweetening agents. 

That being said, the products churned out by commercial winemaking has left a large swath of people with mixed feelings about wine. Often, complaints of headaches, discolored teeth, and the overly sweet character of traditional wine has kept people from giving natural wine a chance. 

That's where we come in. 

Saint Joaquin is here to bring natural wine to Fresno. 

So, what exactly IS natural wine?

While not strictly defined by any governing entity, natural wine is wine produced with little to no human intervention. This means that wines are not treated with pesticides to repel bugs, no sulfites are added to prevent premature aging, no sugars are added to correct for acidity, acid is not added to correct sugar content, and there are no dyes added to the wine to make the juice more attractive. Simply put, natural wine is wine made with no additives. 

Commercial winemaking uses additives such as dyes, sugars, acids, and sulfites to correct flaws, hide character, or to simply make the wine more commercially appealing. 

Natural winemakers largely care for the grapes from soil to bottle, meaning they are constantly worrying about the impact they are leaving on the soil they are harvesting from, their carbon footprint, and the health and wellbeing of their customers. 

This is not to say that commercial winemakers are out to harm you - far from it! Commercial winemakers need their customers to be healthy and happy to ensure they keep ordering their wines. Natural winemakers are typically smaller in size and production, so they have the luxury of being able to focus their efforts more on quality and sustainability. 

Obviously there is a whole world of information regarding natural wine that we cannot get into in this blog, but that is, in a nutshell, what natural wine is. 

We hope you'll swing by our natural wine bar and bottle shop in Fresno soon. 

All the best,

- Josh Islas, CEO + Co-Founder of Saint Joaquin