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!