At Naples Natural Wine, Peter Rizzo only sells vinos made with minimal intervention.


Going Au Naturel

For the future of wine, vintners look back to the early days when winemaking was done with little to no additives or manipulations.

No one really knows how wine was discovered. Most likely, amateurs stumbled upon an intoxicating brew by leaving old grapes to ferment. But what’s in that bottle is far more complicated. Since the end of World War II, winemakers have added sugar, acid, sulfur, yeasts, food coloring and more in various vintages. Add fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides and you have a witch’s cauldron of laboratory wizardry. A growing legion of conscientious winemakers is out to reverse this chemical explosion. Called the natural wine movement, the trend of 2021 strips wine of centuries of evolutionary practices initiated to eliminate impurities, extend shelf life, add flavors and increase production.  There is no government regulation of natural wines and, thus, no definition. Generally, it is wine made from the native yeasts that cling naturally to grape skins and in vineyards that are organically or biodynamically farmed. The grapes are hand-harvested and contain little, or none, of the more than 70 additives allowed under federal regulations. The result, argue proponents, is a healthier and purer wine. But, there’s a rub. Traditional wineries use sulfur dioxide (SO2) to preve
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