We are a wine shop that explores the best of both worlds with retail shopping and a walk-in tasting room open Tuesday through Sunday. Our tasting room selections change monthly and always focus on a different "Old World" and "New World" region. The ever-changing menu allows our guests to constantly explore and discover something new. This month we are exploring the subject of Natural wine in both the New and Old World. Order a flight of all four wines or simply stop by, shop, and enjoy a glass. It's up to you!
Since day one, we have always carried an array of natural wines, but we have not always separated them into their own category, and that was a conscious choice. In fact, the majority of our selections follow long standing traditional farming and classic winemaking traditions from each of their respective regions and countries. We simply do not sell high-volume, mass-produced commercial wines. That being said, "Natural Wine" often goes a few steps further than some traditional methods.
While the definition of is still a bit fluid, the industry seems to have agreed on a few specifics when it comes to defining the overall category. First, it is assumed that responsible farming methods are followed when it comes to producing natural wine. Vineyards are farmed organically, and often, biodynamically as well. Grapes are typically hand-harvested, and fermentation happens spontaneously by way of native yeasts that are in or around the winery (rather than added commercial yeast). No other additives go into the wines, and typically no fining or filtration happens at bottling. Finally, very little or zero sulfur is added to the wine, which is typically used to keep a wine stable for shipping and distribution.
While these production practices are all relatively straight forward, there are a few things we are focused on when selecting our wines. First, the wines must taste good. That seems like an obvious statement, but many natural wines can contain flaws due to various bacteria. Also, the lack of sulfur at bottling can cause unstable wines if they are not handled properly throughout the distribution process. Furthermore, the wines must be in balance. As with any of our selections, we are determined to find wines that show freshness and balance and properly represent their grape varietal and the place from where they come.
The Old World flight starts with a zippy fresh Pet-Nat from Germany. The wine shows an array of beautiful citrus fruits and minerality from start to finish. Meinklang from Austria brings us skin-contact white filled with stone fruit aromatics and flavors, great texture and a bit of tannin. Of course we cannot talk natural wine without a reference from Beaujolais. The work of a select few of Beaujolais producers through the 80's and 90's was instrumental in brining the natural wine discussion to the forefront in the 2000's. Heavily influenced by Jules Chauvet, Thibault Ducroux's Beaujolais "En Roue LIbre" shows loads of refreshing tart red fruits. We finish the flight with a wine from José Pastor selections who has been incredibly influential in bringing natural wines from the Iberian Peninsula into the American marketplace.
Old World Flight
The New World flight starts with a lively Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma. Slightly cloudy, full of citrus and a bit grassy, the palate is weighty and full of tropical fruit. The "Queen of Sierra" is an interesting blend of Chardonnay, Verdelho, and Muscat from the Sierra Foothills. The Leoncio Pais from Chile could be one of the most gulpable reds in the shop right now, and the Les Lunes Cabernet shows juicy dark fruits with plenty of earth and spices.
New World Flight
Looking to Customize?
We now host curated tastings for groups of two to ten people. Our tastings are a great way to explore wines that are new to you or indulge in some of your favorite regions. Whether you are looking to learn or to simply relax, our team has you covered.