Natural wine is a squishy categorization with no official definition, labeling, or governing body, but the term generally applies to wines that have experienced little to no manipulation. That is, wines that use grapes that have been farmed organically or biodynamically, fermented only with native yeasts, and produced without preservatives, colorings, or flavorings.
Sometimes funky, sometimes effervescent, always interesting, natural wine, for all intents and purposes, is a return to the oldest winemaking methods. A belief that if you let the grapes do their thing, the truest expression of the fruit, the earth, the unique place they’re grown — the terroir if you will — comes through.
Natural wine has become increasingly popular locally, so much so that one of the best natural wine festivals in the country happens right here in San Diego. Nat Diego is returning this year with a grand tasting event that will be held on Saturday, June 18 at Bread and Salt in Barrio Logan; tickets are $60 (plus fees and taxes) with proceeds benefitting Slow Food Urban San Diego.
For your ongoing drinking pleasure, Nat Diego co-founder and Eater Wine Club contributor Chelsea Coleman, who co-owns The Rose and Bodega Rosette, has helped to compile a list of local restaurants, wine bars, bottle shops, and wineries focused on natural wine production.
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