1. Poly, Sydney
“I think the idea of having wines made without chemical manipulation is in line with a lot of people being more aware of environmental issues and what they put in their bodies,” says Poly’s sommelier and co-owner Julien Dromgool. His 12-page wine list focuses on minimal-intervention offerings, such as organic wine from Italian producer Cantina Giardino created from the Campania region’s native grape varieties.
2. The Fly, New York
“It’s messy and fun and nostalgic for many people, and it’s extremely versatile with wine,” says the Brooklyn wine bar’s beverage director Nialls Fallon on pairing a global natural wine list with rotisserie chicken. The Fly’s selection includes bottles from Chilean winemaker Leonardo Erazo, who, according to Fallon, “farms a tiny plot of land in the middle of essentially a desert, without the use of any irrigation.”
3. Wet, Bangkok
When superstar chef Gaggan Anand announced that he’d be opening a natural wine bar, it heralded a new era for the cocktail-obsessed capital. Sommelier and co-owner Vladimir Kojic hopes that Wet’s premium wine list will place Bangkok at the forefront of the movement. “I wish that we’d stop using the word natural,” he says. “Wine should be made without any additions to it, just like food.”
4. Drunken Farmer, Singapore
“Natural winemakers are not re-inventing the wheel but are just trying to perfect the art of winemaking without the addition of chemicals,” explains Philippe Chin of travelling wine bar Drunken Farmer. Unsure of what to order? Follow Chin’s advice and go for the Austrian Blaufränkisch. Drunken Farmer is currently operating out of Open Farm Community each Wednesday to Sunday, from 6pm to 11pm.
5. Lady of the Grapes, London
Carole Bryon, owner of this Covent Garden bar, hopes you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for female winemakers. Frustrated by the lack of attention given to women in the industry, Bryon has crafted an exceptional list of natural wines – and ensured around 70% of those featured are produced by women. Try the intensely aromatic orange wine made by La Stoppa’s Elena Pantaleoni.
6. Verjus, San Francisco
Housed in the former Eclipse Champagne Building – a structure named after the region’s first attempt at making sparkling wine back in 1874 – Verjus’ blood-red lacquered ceiling oozes style. “It’s fun and it’s not about exclusivity,” beverage director Matt Cirne says as he reflects on the impetus behind natural wine’s recent renaissance. “Natural wines can be simple, thirst-quenching and delicious.”
Illustration by Verónica Grech
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This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine