Sumary of 'We're making a lot of noise': The loud movement disrupting Australian wine:
- Is naturalwine having an outsized influence in disrupting our wine culture —or just another temporary plaything for a privileged class of trend-chasing millennials?Australian natural wine is having a moment.You can see it in the countless bars, restaurants and wine shops popping up around the country that cater to and capitalise on the now years-long trend.It’s there on Instagram and targeted Facebook ads offering home-delivery of gleaming bright-hued bottles of alcoholic juice.It’s lauded by touring rappers on hit TV shows and has been described by critics as having an “outsized influence”on Australia’s wine culture and reputation.
- Brightly-hued bottles of Australian natural wine.( ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)One winemaker, whose products sit on the same shelves as what could fairly be described as natural wine, refuses outright to be interviewed on the subject —”I don’t do enough cocaine to be a part of the natural wine scene.”Anton Van Klopper, alternately described as the grandfather and godfather of Australian natural wine, is visibly introverted and seems not all that keen on talking to anyone about anything.That shouldn’t be confused for a lack of passion in what he makes and grows.
- Van Klopper is one of Australia’s main proponents of a ‘nothing added, nothing taken away’ philosophy of winemaking.( ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)”With natural wine, to me it’s like looking at a [photo of a] landscape —because it’s unadulterated,” said Van Klopper.”You see the work from the producer and the work from the vineyard directly without any change.
- Grapes fermenting with natural yeast and no additives or preservatives.( ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)”Whether you like the picture or not is up to you.”It is quite easy these days to manipulate it so you would find it attractive, but I find the beauty in the unmanipulated work.”If you’re not familiar with natural wine, good luck finding a consistent definition.True believers will tell you it stands as a response to the homogeneous, large-scale industrial leanings of the conventional wine world.
- That natural winemaking offers a purer expression of the terroir and grapes themselves;
- that the wines are more juicy and vibrant;that they taste and feel alive.But even the term itself is highly contentious, confusing and frequently interchanged with others, like minimal intervention or Lo-fi (the loved/loathed hashtag-ready ‘natty wines’ is also used).
- Anton Van Klopper’s Lucy M (formerly Lucy Margaux) wines( ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)While only representative of a particular sect of Australian natural winemaking, Van Klopper’s definition of his own coveted Lucy M wines (previously Lucy Margaux) is nonetheless a useful starting point.”Natural wine is a really broad term for lots of different wines,”said Van Klopper, who has been making some form of it in the Adelaide Hills for more than a decade.”The category I’m in is probably the most extreme, which is organically farmed fruit —that’s an essential part —then nothing added at any stage.”So it ferments naturally, it’s unfiltered, unfined —it is just pure juice.” Anton Van Klopper was a top winemaking student at Adelaide University.( ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)This diverges from so-called conventional wine on a couple of key additions.Most of the wine made in Australia will feature some form of fining, filtration andadditivethroughout the winemaking process, which in part help to create clean, stable, consistent wines.The addition of the preservative sulphur dioxide is the most tediously contentious in the natural wine world.
- Some natural winemakers staunchly use none, others a little, others a little more, but most will tell you too much sulphur constrains or mutes a wine’s expressiveness.Conventional winemakers might tell you they’re full of it.’It’s given wine a new identity’ Kyatt Dixon from Limus wines( ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)Kyatt Dixon is not too fussed either way.He doesn’t add sulphur tohis range of Limus wines, but mainly because he doesn’t like the taste.What the Mount Gambier winemaker finds more interesting is how these types of wines have broken down barriers to entry into the wine world.”It’s an exciting period.