Exploring the Wonders of Natural Wines from Northwestern Louisiana

James Jelks is a winemaker from the Santa Cruz area who produces Free Solo, a wine made without additives. This gives it a lively and fragrant aroma with flavors of flowers, herbs and red fruits. The Children's Atlas of Wine program is interested in small winemakers and in telling their stories, especially those from underrepresented regions. When discussing Mexican wine, for example, it is important to note that wine had been made in Baja California for centuries, but when gold was discovered in the north, money and the dominant wine industry went with it, leaving this region underrepresented in the narrative about West Coast wine.

Learning the story behind each bottle is as revealing as trying it out. Pepin from American Wine Project, produced in Driftless Area, a Midwestern region that includes southwestern Wisconsin, provides an opportunity to talk about climate change. As the planet warms and unpredictable weather events make growing grapes more difficult than ever, relatively new hybrids such as St. Pepin, which was developed in the 1980s in Minnesota, tend to be more vigorous and thrive in the landscapes for which they were created.

In your hands, this wine is fresh and pure, full of energy and with a deep flavor of spices, herbs and red fruits. Second Vine Wine - 4212 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 - is a unique wine store located in the heart of Uptown. Pluck Wine Bar & Restaurant - 722 Girod St, New Orleans, LA 70130 - is a wine bar and restaurant for the curious. Faubourg Wines - 2805 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 - is a snug store specializing in bottles from small producers plus a relaxed wine bar with gourmet snacks. When it comes to natural wines, they are simply wines produced with minimal intervention. Kelsey from Kismet Wines explained that Viognier is often used as a blending grape but is now produced as a monovarietal, especially in California.

She wants people to feel that wine can bring a certain mood or energy to the table when they see Kismet wines. Milan Nestarec makes natural wines from grapes from his family's vineyards in the Moravia region of the Czech Republic. Natural Merchants is a major importer of high-quality certified organic wines produced by families without added sulfites, organically grown wines, biodynamic wines and high-quality vegan wines. During quarantine I expanded my palate with the selections of the Tabula Rasa wine club in Little Armenia. This red wine was made from Bobal which is rare as it is most commonly found on the Mediterranean coast of Valencia.

A hard cider was also sampled which was made from apples grown on a biodynamic farm in the Hudson Valley and aged on the skin of Teroldego grapes from North Fork on Long Island giving it an impression of being a dry fruit wine with a pleasant soft tannic structure. After letting it sit in the glass it turned into an earthy, dusty and slightly tannic treat. It is useful to keep this idea in mind when imagining what unites winemakers who ferment Syrah in the Georgian Quervi of Sonoma while another takes care of 85-year-old Cariñena vineyards in Mendocino and another who produces an elegant cold-climate Pinot Noir in Oregon. No official or legal classification or standard set of operating procedures defines natural wines and there are no organizations that can certify that a wine is natural.

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