growth Minimal-Intervention Winemaking

In minimal-intervention winemaking, grapes are turned into wine with as little interference as possible. The goal? To allow the terroir and varietal personality to truly shine through. 

Because very little is done during the actual winemaking process, grape quality is of the utmost importance -- winemaking here truly starts in the vineyard. 

To understand minimal-intervention winemaking more in-depth, you have to know a few things about how wine happens… time to get nerdy! First off, yeast is naturally present on grape skin. When left to their own devices, grapes will begin to naturally ferment and turn into wine because of this yeast. In natural winemaking, winemakers rely on this (often called “spontaneous fermentation”); in other forms of winemaking, commercial yeast is typically added to control the start and overall duration of the fermentation. 

Additionally, outside of natural/minimal-intervention winemaking, winemakers are free to add adjustments during the winemaking process to help balance acidity, increase/decrease alcohol levels, modify the tannins, etc. Sulfite is also added to stop fermentation and stabilize the wine at the end stages. In minimal-intervention winemaking, none of this is used. Winemakers just let the wine run its course. 

Proponents of minimal-intervention winemaking believe that the wines are truer depictions of terroir and the grapes they’re made from. It’s also been said that these wines feel more vivacious and alive when you drink them. 

Want to experience that for yourself? Check out minimal-intervention wines below!
Riaza Wines
"Elemental" Sauvignon Blanc, 2019

Sauvignon Blanc · Herbaceous, Fruity, and Fresh · Rare wine (57 cases produced) · Cosumnes River, Lodi, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Riaza Wines
"Ethereal" Garnacha Blanca, 2019

Uncommon White · Fruity · Rare wine (81 cases produced) · Mokelumne River, Lodi, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Riaza Wines
"Irreverant" Rosé Carignane, 2019

Rosé · Floral, Saline, and Fruity · Rare wine (73 cases produced) · Mokelumne River, Lodi, California

Rare Varietal
Monis Cellars
Santa Barbara Rosé Nebbiolo, 2018

Rosé · Fresh and Sweet · Limited wine (300 cases produced) · Santa Barbara, California

Rare Varietal
Monis Cellars
Santa Barbara "VVS" Syrah, 2018

Syrah · Woody, Earthy, and Fruity · Limited wine (300 cases produced) · Santa Barbara, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Cruess
"Rock Smash" GSM Blend, 2018

GSM Blend · Earthy, Fruity, and Spicy · Rare wine (144 cases produced) · Fountaingrove District, Sonoma, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
AJA Vineyards
Sauvignon Blanc, 2019

New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc · Fresh and Herbaceous · Rare wine (56 cases produced) · Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez Valley, California

Other
AJA Vineyards
Malibu Coast Syrah, 2014

Syrah · Woody, Fruity, Earthy, Floral, and Bold · Malibu Coast, Los Angeles, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
AJA Vineyards
Pamela's Selection Syrah, 2012

Syrah · Spicy, Woody, and Fruity · Malibu Coast, Los Angeles, California

Other
AJA Vineyards
Malibu Coast Syrah, 2016

Syrah · Earthy and Fruity · Malibu Coast, Los Angeles, California

Other
AJA Vineyards
Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2017

California-style Cabernet Sauvignon · Fruity, Earthy, Bold, Complex, and Floral · Super rare wine (25 cases produced) · Malibu Coast, Los Angeles, California

Hand-harvested
AJA Vineyards
Malibu Coast Rosé Estate Grown, 2020

Rosé · Fresh, Floral, and Porch Pounder · Rare wine (70 cases produced) · Malibu Coast, Los Angeles, California

Hand-harvested
Monis Cellars
Santa Barbara Chardonnay, 2019

California-style Chardonnay · Nutty and Fruity · Limited wine (217 cases produced) · Santa Barbara, California

Unique Climate
Cruess
Russian River Valley Fiano, 2018

Uncommon White · Fresh and Funky · Limited wine (218 cases produced) · Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Rare Varietal
Monis Cellars
Santa Barbara Pinot Noir, 2019

Pinot Noir · Earthy and Fruity · Limited wine (300 cases produced) · Santa Barbara, California

Other
Foursight Wines
Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

Bordeaux-style Sauvignon Blanc · Herbaceous, Fresh, Fruity, and Nutty · Limited wine (500 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Foursight Wines
Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Earthy and Fruity · Limited wine (400 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Rockets Red Wine
Rockets Red Rosé Grenache, 2019

Rosé · Fruity and Fresh · Super rare wine (38 cases produced) · Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Rockets Red Wine
Serenity Farm & Vineyard Rosé Pinot Noir, 2019

Rosé · Fruity and Fresh · Rare wine (90 cases produced) · Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Cavaletti Vineyards
109 Mile Rosé Grenache and Tempranillo, 2020

Provence-style Rosé · Fresh, Saline, Fruity, Floral, and Mineral · Rare wine (109 cases produced) · Los Angeles, California

Noteworthy Topography
Waits-Mast Family Cellars
Mendocino Pinot Noir, 2015

Pinot Noir · Fruity · Rare wine (115 cases produced) · Mendocino, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Waits-Mast Family Cellars
Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2016

Pinot Noir · Fruity · Rare wine (140 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Noteworthy Topography
Waits-Mast Family Cellars
Wentzel Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2017

Pinot Noir · Fruity · Rare wine (90 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Noteworthy Topography
Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Santa Clara Valley Marsanne, 2018

Uncommon White · Fresh, Balanced, and Floral · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Santa Clara Valley, San Francisco Bay, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery
"Lioness" Rosé, 2019

Provence-style Rosé · Porch Pounder, Balanced, and Fresh · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Santa Clara Valley, San Francisco Bay, California

Sustainable Farming
Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Santa Clara Valley Viognier, 2018

Condrieu-style Viognier · Balanced · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Santa Clara Valley, San Francisco Bay, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
R Five Wines
Salomon Vineyard Viognier, 2017

Condrieu-style Viognier · Floral, Fresh, and Saline · Rare wine (120 cases produced) · Sonoma Valley, Sonoma, California

Almost Sold Out
Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Santa Clara Valley Four Lions, 2017

Southern Rhone-style Red · Fruity and Balanced · Rare wine (135 cases produced) · Santa Clara Valley, San Francisco Bay, California

Award Winner
Bee Hunter Wine
Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2018

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Balanced, Fresh, and Savory · 1400 cases produced · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Winery Favorite
Bee Hunter Wine
Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard, 2013

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Earthy, Complex, Balanced, and Savory · Rare wine (185 cases produced) · Mendocino, California

Other
Rockets Red Wine
Rockets Red Rosé Pinot Noir, 2020

Rosé · Floral, Fresh, Fruity, and Balanced · Rare wine (84 cases produced) · Santa Barbara County, California

Hand-harvested
Rockets Red Wine
Rockets Red Wines Grenache, 2019

Southern Rhone-style Red · Earthy, Subtle, Fruity, Savory, and Natural · Rare wine (78 cases produced) · Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Bee Hunter Wine
Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard, 2014

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Complex, Earthy, Floral, Herbaceous, and Subtle · Limited wine (200 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Unique Climate
Bee Hunter Wine
Pinot Noir Wentzel Vineyard, 2017

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Floral, Earthy, Fruity, Savory, and Balanced · Rare wine (175 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Organic Farming
Bee Hunter Wine
Grenache Eagle Point Ranch, 2015

Grenache · Bold, Earthy, Woody, Fruity, and Balanced · Rare wine (150 cases produced) · Mendocino, California

Organic Farming
AJA Vineyards
"5 Red Blend" Bordeaux-Style Blend, 2018

Bordeaux-style Red Blend · Bold, Balanced, Fruity, and Earthy · Rare wine (115 cases produced) · Malibu Coast, Los Angeles, California

Uncommon Region
Alta Orsa & Orsa Wines
Orsa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017

Cabernet Sauvignon · Balanced, Mineral, and Subtle · Limited wine (550 cases produced) · Mendocino County, California

High Altitude Vineyard
Bee Hunter Wine
Riesling Late Harvest 'Greenwood Ridge Vineyards', 2014 (375 ml)

Other Dessert · Balanced · Limited wine (200 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Award Winner
Bee Hunter Wine
Syrah Vivio Vineyard, 2014

California Syrah · Balanced, Complex, Mineral, Fruity, and Smoky · Limited wine (430 cases produced) · Bennett Valley, Sonoma, California

Soil That Matters
Bee Hunter Wine
Sonoma County GSM Blend, 2015

GSM Blend · Bold, Balanced, Complex, and Savory · Limited wine (200 cases produced) · Sonoma County, California

Winery Favorite
Bee Hunter Wine
Syrah Broken Leg Vineyard, 2016

Northern Rhône-style Syrah · Bold, Complex, Gamey, Mineral, and Spicy · Limited wine (200 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Other
Bee Hunter Wine
Zinfandel Fashauer Vineyard, 2014

California Zinfandel · Savory, Earthy, Fresh, Balanced, and Fruity · Rare wine (150 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

High Altitude Vineyard
Bee Hunter Wine
Pinot Noir MAGNUM, 2016 (1.5 l)

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Bold, Balanced, Complex, and Savory · Super rare wine (25 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Almost Sold Out
Bee Hunter Wine
Pinot Noir Docker Hill Vineyard MAGNUM, 2016 (1.5 l)

California Pinot Noir · Bold, Complex, Fruity, Earthy, and Savory · Super rare wine (11 cases produced) · Mendocino, California

Award Winner
Bee Hunter Wine
Mendocino County Pinot Noir, 2017

California Pinot Noir · Balanced, Bold, Fruity, Herbaceous, and Savory · Limited wine (600 cases produced) · Mendocino County, California

Other
Bee Hunter Wine
Pinot Noir Angel Camp Vineyard, 2016

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Bold, Complex, Mineral, Savory, and Fresh · Rare wine (175 cases produced) · Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California

Award Winner
Alta Orsa & Orsa Wines
Rosé Pinot Noir, 2021

Provence-style Rosé · Fresh, Mineral, Subtle, Balanced, and Porch Pounder · Rare wine (120 cases produced) · Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
[ess·eff] wines
Ketcham Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2019

California Pinot Noir · Balanced, Fruity, and Subtle · Super rare wine (35 cases produced) · Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Award Winner
ThereAfter Wine Company
ThereAfter Cabernet Sauvignon Escher Vineyard, 2019

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon · Balanced, Complex, Subtle, and Fruity · Rare wine (75 cases produced) · Napa Valley, Napa, California

Hand-harvested
Alta Orsa & Orsa Wines
Chardonnay Unoaked, 2020

California Chardonnay · Balanced, Fresh, Natural, and Fruity · Rare wine (60 cases produced) · Sonoma County, California

Almost Sold Out
Croma Vera Wines
Bee Sweet Vineyard Grenache, 2017

Grenache · Balanced, Floral, Herbaceous, Mineral, and Spicy · Rare wine (91 cases produced) · Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, California

Hand-harvested
Croma Vera Wines
Tempranillo Maduro, 2017

Tempranillo · Balanced and Earthy · Rare wine (142 cases produced) · Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California

Hand-harvested
Croma Vera Wines
San Luis Obispo Albariño, 2019

Albariño · Balanced, Complex, Fruity, Mineral, and Saline · Rare wine (77 cases produced) · San Luis Obispo, California

Hand-harvested
Viñas Zurinaga
Blank Road Estate Pinot Noir, 2014

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Balanced and Complex · Rare wine (125 cases produced) · Sonoma Coast, Sonoma, California

Hand-harvested
Viñas Zurinaga
Blank Road Estate Pinot Noir, 2017

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Complex and Balanced · Rare wine (89 cases produced) · Sonoma Coast, Sonoma, California

Hand-harvested
Viñas Zurinaga
7 Rows Chardonnay, 2017

Burgundy-style Chardonnay · Balanced · Sonoma Coast, Sonoma, California

Other
Croma Vera Wines
Red Blend Revelación, 2017

Red Blend · Balanced and Complex · Rare wine (146 cases produced) · Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California

Hand-harvested
Croma Vera Wines
Paso Robles Tempranillo Joven, 2018

Tempranillo · Fresh, Fruity, and Mineral · Rare wine (88 cases produced) · Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California

Hand-harvested
Croma Vera Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016

California Cabernet Sauvignon · Balanced and Bold · Rare wine (108 cases produced) · Paso Robles Estrella District, Paso Robles, California

Hand-harvested
Caelesta Wines
Paso Robles Red Blend GSM , 2017

Southern Rhone-style Red · Complex, Savory, and Subtle · Rare wine (50 cases produced) · Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California

Award Winner
Acri Wine Co.
Zinfandel Smith Family Vineyard, 2019

Zinfandel · Balanced · Rare wine (63 cases produced) · Los Angeles, California

High Altitude Vineyard
ThereAfter Wine Company
ThereAfter Grenache Village, 2019

Grenache · Carbonic, Fresh, Herbaceous, Spicy, and Complex · Rare wine (50 cases produced) · Mendocino County, California

Other
[ess·eff] wines
Teldeschi Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, 2017

California Zinfandel · Balanced, Bold, and Earthy · Rare wine (50 cases produced) · Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California

Award Winner
[ess·eff] wines
Hannah's Vineyard Rosé Barbera, 2020

Rosé · Floral, Mineral, and Fruity · Super rare wine (40 cases produced) · California Shenandoah Valley, Amador, Sierra Foothills, California

Award Winner
J. Cage Cellars
Tzabaco Rancho Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 2020

Calfornia Sauvignon Blanc · Balanced, Floral, Mineral, and Porch Pounder · Rare wine (125 cases produced) · Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California

Other
J. Cage Cellars
Cuvée 42 Pinot Noir, 2019

California-style Pinot Noir · Balanced, Bold, and Spicy · Limited wine (700 cases produced) · Sonoma County, California

Barrel-aged
J. Cage Cellars
El Coro Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018

California-style Pinot Noir · Spicy, Bold, Fruity, and Balanced · Rare wine (125 cases produced) · Petaluma Gap, Sonoma, California

Barrel-aged
J. Cage Cellars
Wedding Block Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018

California Pinot Noir · Balanced, Complex, and Fruity · Rare wine (125 cases produced) · Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Barrel-aged
J. Cage Cellars
Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018

California-style Pinot Noir · Balanced, Complex, and Savory · Rare wine (125 cases produced) · Green Valley of Russian River, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Barrel-aged
Cavaletti Vineyards
Heartbreak Zinfandel, 2019 (749 ml)

Zinfandel · Fresh, Earthy, Fruity, and Spicy · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Ventura County

Sustainable Farming
Cavaletti Vineyards
Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay, 2020

Chablis-style Chardonnay · Floral, Fruity, Mineral, and Subtle · Rare wine (50 cases produced) · Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, California

Morning Harvest
Cavaletti Vineyards
Debutante Rhone Blend, 2019

Rhône-style White Blend · Complex, Fruity, Fresh, Mineral, and Subtle · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Santa Barbara County, California

Rare Varietal
Alta Orsa & Orsa Wines
Alta Orsa Hillside Cuvee Estate Bottled - grown, produced, and bottled., 2018

Bordeaux-style Red Blend · Balanced, Complex, and Spicy · Rare wine (112 cases produced) · Mendocino County, California

Organic Farming
Alta Orsa & Orsa Wines
Alta Orsa Chardonnay Single Vineyard, 2019

Chardonnay · Balanced, Mineral, and Complex · Rare wine (75 cases produced) · Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California

Soil That Matters
Lost Toy Cellars
Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 100% Single Vineyard, 2016

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon · Balanced, Bold, Fruity, and Mineral · Limited wine (350 cases produced) · Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California

Almost Sold Out
Lost Toy Cellars
Coombsville Sauvignon Blanc 100% Single Vineyard, 2020

California Sauvignon Blanc · Fresh, Fruity, Mineral, Porch Pounder, and Complex · Limited wine (350 cases produced) · Coombsville, Napa Valley, California

Noteworthy Topography
Lepe Cellars
Chardonnay, 2017

Chardonnay · Balanced, Fruity, Fresh, Natural, and Nutty · Rare wine (90 cases produced) · Carmel Valley, Monterey, California

Winery Favorite
Lepe Cellars
Petit Verdot, 2019

Other Red · Bold, Balanced, Complex, Earthy, and Spicy · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · San Antonio Valley, Monterey, California

Rare Varietal
Cavaletti Vineyards
Los Angeles Grenache 109 Mile, 2018

Grenache · Earthy, Fruity, Herbaceous, Mineral, and Funky · Rare wine (99 cases produced) · Los Angeles, California

Soil That Matters
Cavaletti Vineyards
Ventura County Syrah Arianna, 2018

Northern Rhône-style Syrah · Earthy, Complex, Gamey, Smoky, and Fruity · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Ventura County

Barrel-aged
Viñas Zurinaga
7 Rows Chardonnay, 2018

Chardonnay · Fresh and Balanced · Rare wine (120 cases produced) · Sonoma Coast, Sonoma, California

Organic Farming
Lepe Cellars
Syrah, 2019

California Syrah · Balanced, Earthy, Spicy, Savory, and Fresh · Rare wine (75 cases produced) · Monterey, Monterey, California

Hand-harvested
Satyr Fire
Poppyfield Gewürztraminer, 2020

Gewürztraminer · Complex, Floral, Fresh, Herbaceous, and Spicy · Super rare wine (25 cases produced) · Columbia Gorge, Columbia Valley, Oregon

Hand-harvested
Merisi Wines
Diener Ranch Petite Sirah, 2017

California Petite Sirah · Balanced and Complex · Rare wine (150 cases produced) · Lake, California

DTC Only
Lepe Cellars
Pinot Noir, 2020

California Pinot Noir · Floral, Fruity, Spicy, Balanced, and Fresh · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, California

Winery Favorite
Backstay Wine Co.
Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, 2017

Pinot Gris · Complex, Fresh, and Porch Pounder · Limited wine (200 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Morning Harvest
Backstay Wine Co.
Willamette Valley White Blend, 2017

White Blend · Balanced · Rare wine (100 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Morning Harvest
Backstay Wine Co.
Rosé Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris, 2017

California Rosé · Fresh and Balanced · Rare wine (85 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Morning Harvest
Backstay Wine Co.
Hunters Reserve Pinot Noir, 2015

Pinot Noir · Fruity, Balanced, and Natural · Rare wine (125 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Morning Harvest
Kivelstadt Cellars
Twice Removed Rosé Carignane and Grenache, 2019

Rosé · Fresh, Mineral, and Porch Pounder · Limited wine (240 cases produced) · Mendocino, California

Organic Farming
Kivelstadt Cellars
Mendocino KC Labs Syrah, 2020

Syrah · Carbonic, Fruity, and Funky · Limited wine (217 cases produced) · Mendocino, California

Interesting Winemaking ...
Adelaide Thomas Wines
Rosé Pinot Noir, 2020

California Rosé · Fresh, Floral, and Balanced · Rare wine (96 cases produced) · Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

Organic Farming
Acri Wine Co.
Smith Family Vineyard Merlot, 2019

Merlot · Complex, Balanced, Fruity, and Savory · Super rare wine (46 cases produced) · Los Angeles, California

Sustainable Farming
Adelaide Thomas Wines
Sauvignon Blanc, 2020

Sauvignon Blanc · Balanced, Fresh, and Mineral · Rare wine (54 cases produced) · Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California

Biodynamic Farming
Acri Wine Co.
San Diego Petite Sirah, 2019

California Petite Sirah · Balanced, Bold, Complex, and Savory · Super rare wine (49 cases produced) · San Diego, California

Sustainable Farming
Silas Wines
PDX Pinot Noir, 2015

Pinot Noir · Balanced, Complex, and Fruity · Limited wine (500 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Winery Favorite
Silas Wines
Ladd's Addition Pinot Noir, 2015

Burgundy-style Pinot Noir · Earthy, Fruity, and Complex · Limited wine (311 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Interesting Winemaking ...
Silas Wines
The Pearl Pinot Noir, 2014

Pinot Noir · Spicy, Bold, and Funky · Limited wine (273 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Winery Favorite
Silas Wines
Bramble Rosé Pinot Noir, 2016

Rosé · Complex and Balanced · Rare wine (105 cases produced) · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Almost Sold Out
Silas Wines
The Optimist Malbec/Viognier, 2015

Malbec · Floral and Bold · Rare wine (150 cases produced) · Oregon

Interesting Winemaking ...

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