Organic, rustic and authentic; natural wines are made with as few artificial processes as possible. Because they are fermented with wild yeasts, each bottle tastes delightfully different. Here are five to get you started.
1. Harkham Winery, Hunter Valley, NSW
With accommodation and a restaurant with one of the best views of the Hunter, Harkham is a beautiful stop-off. Watkins believes their wines are getting better every day: “They show an elegant finesse and freshness.”
2. Brian, Tamar Valley, TAS
The brainchild of wine writer Mike Bennie and two winemakers who wish to remain anonymous, Brian is considered one of Australia’s most exciting natural wines, and was included on Noma Australia’s wine list.
3. Architects of Wine, Adelaide Hills, SA
David Caporaletti was an architect-cum-project manager before he decided to take up winemaking as a hobby, but now his wines are everywhere – if you can get a bottle. They are made in small batches, so you’ve got to be quick to get that chardonnay.
4. Gentle Folk Wines, Adelaide Hills, SA
Gentle Folk is one of Watkins’s favourite wineries – their wines are clean and refreshing, but also soft. “They make some lovely clean styles of wine,” he says. “Natural wines can sometimes be a bit animalistic, but you can also get a lovely prettiness in them.”
5. Sparrow & Vine, Eden Valley, SA/Sydney, NSW
Sparrow & Vine grow their grapes in South Australia’s Eden Valley, but press and bottle them in Sydney’s Marrickville. “They have a lovely simplicity, are good fun and resonate well with people,” says Watkins.