Wine Enthusiast Podcast: Germany's Au Naturel Challenge | Wine Enthusiast
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Wine Enthusiast Podcast: Germany’s Au Naturel Challenge

It’s hard to deny that that “natural wines” are increasingly bantered about these days. From the cool kids who have been into the scene since it began to the newcomers eager to understand and appreciate the minimal intervention mindset, everyone seems to be intrigued by this category of wine and style of winemaking.

This interest, of course, extends to winemakers and producers as well.

But in cool-climate regions like Germany, with highly challenging weather and disease issues, making wines “au naturel” can be a risky proposition. And yet, many of the country’s winemakers are increasingly turning to such vine growing and wine production techniques.

For some, converting to organic or biodynamic winemaking is a must-do labor of love. It’s hard to ignore the passion expressed not only for their own sites and bottlings, but also for the wines of the country as a whole, for the authenticity that they can represent and respect for the land that yields them.

Contributing Editor Anna Lee Iijima speaks with two producers from the Pfalz wine region in western Germany who champion such change: Bettina Bürklin-von Gurazdi of Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, and Hans and Valentin Rebholz from the Rebholz Estate. They offer candid conversation and valuable insight as to why and how this natural change is happening, and why it is vital to the long-term success and sustainability of German wine.

To learn more about natural wine, and what exactly it even is, check out this beginner’s guide to natural wine. You can also learn more about Georgia’s claim to be the spiritual home of natural wine, or how a recent French certification that sought to begin to regulate the category. You can also check out these top natural wine retailers from our America’s 50 Best Wine Retailers list of 2020.

For more about German wines, don’t miss this article about the six regions bringing out the best in German wine, including the Pfalz, or this quick guide to German Riesling.


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