Wine Revolution supports small, artisan producers who farm organic or biodynamic and sustainably. These producers avoid artificial inputs, look after their ecosystems, conserve natural resources and whose wines taste better. You’ll find these wines labelled either Certified Organic or Biodynamic. If a producer is not certified you’ll see them referred to as sustainable, low or minimal intervention, lo-fi or natural wines.
Here are seven reasons why we prefer to drink them. For this article, we will refer to these wines as ‘low intervention’ wines. The new wine ‘normal’!
Nonconventional farming means labour intensive as well as no or greatly reduced chemical use in the vineyard. Depending on the time of year the viticulturist is busy monitoring for disease and pests, pruning, arranging canopy for shade and protection. Animals are busy keeping errant weeds at bay. Biodiversity is encouraged along with organic or biodynamic and environmental practices (water, waste and energy conservation) for longterm sustainability. ‘Hands-on’ in the vineyard allows grapes to develop a flavour more reflective of the terroir, climate and vintage. These farming practices are better for the environment, quality of fruit and let’s not forget the workers of the vineyard who don’t have to handle chemicals.
Less intervention in the winery creates a wine that is a better representative of the vineyard. A natural wine will be free from chemical intervention and physical invention in the winemaking process. Consequently, the wines will speak more loudly of their maker, their region and the harvest. Minimal sulphur may be added for stability – no one likes a bad wine. Beyond that, enjoy your wine free from chemicals both in the vineyard and winery.
Embrace the challenges of vintage
Conventional wine is made with mechanisation and chemical use in the vineyard to manage disease and pests. In the winery, conventional wine has significant intervention in the winemaking process via additions and adjustments. All this means that regardless of the quality of a vintage, the resulting wine will be consistent every year. ‘Low intervention’ wine embraces the differences in the years giving the avid wine taster something different every season, not just another wine made to a commercial style. ‘Low intervention’ wines are not made to a style.
You’ll find a un endless supply of interesting styles to explore on your weekends. Winemakers new and old are experimenting with techniques to give them a market edge to attract wine-savvy consumers. Skin-contact whites (orange or amber), pet nat’s, carbonic reds, co-fermentation different varietals, white and red blends are just some examples of the techniques. Our favourite producers producing interesting and delicious wines to look out for are “Heroes” Vineyard, Smallfry, Cullen, Dormilona, Blind Corner, Thousand Candles, Freehand, Whistler to name a few!
Tasting with Friends
Throwdown the gauntlet to a wine wanker friend. They can probably pick a typical Barossa Shiraz, but can they pick a low intervention Shiraz from Geelong-Otway Hinterland. Perhaps they will, perhaps they won’t, but they’ll enjoy discovering that the wine they’ve just tasted and enjoyed hasn’t been twisted and tricked into tasting as something that it isn’t. And at a blind tasting isn’t it fun to pull something from left field?
It is only since the industrialisation of agriculture in the 1950s that agrochemicals were added to the wine. With the post-WWR2 boom demand for wine grew and so the need for bigger crops. However, countries are sticking to tradition. Winemaking in Georgia (the Caucasus, not the Southern US) has barely changed in 6000 years. Family-run vineyards in France, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Greece etc. continue their tradition of making their wine in the manner of their ancestors. Why would we change? In a time when we sometimes yearn for the simplicity and purity of the past – whether it is LPs or bikes without gears – low intervention wine is as traditional as it comes.
A small non-scientific study would suggest that some of the coolest labels in the wine world are on the bottles of a low intervention wine. I’ve seen beautiful labels designed by kid sisters, local artists, indigenous people, a collaboration of mates, labels made on recycled paper, the truly bizarre and the gorgeous. Cool labels are something the craft beer world embraced sometime back and it’s great to see the wine world doing the same.
Shop our range here and start discovering the wonderful world of low intervention wines.