“Natural,” as a general term and more specifically when applied to wine, both clarifies and obfuscates. As a counterpoint to conventional winemaking, natural winemaking ideally indicates specific practices in sustainable vineyard management, ethical labor standards, and transparent, low-intervention production (winemaking that uses native as opposed to commercial yeast, employs few additives, and is generally “light-handed” during vinification).
Natural wine isn’t characterized by any one style, producer, region, or varietal, but harkens back to traditions that existed before the industrialization of winemaking and agriculture. At its best, low-intervention winemaking produces beverages that simply taste alive — wines that can be elegant, juicy, age-worthy, surprising, and singular. When it comes down to it, natural wine is about the people, decisions, and relationships that are built around expressing, enjoying, and respecting an agricultural product from a specific place and time.
Seattle’s natural wine scene has been growing steadily in the last 10 years, and any of the spots listed below are well-equipped to shed light on the product. Consider this list a starting point in the exploration of natural wine: there are plenty of other bottle shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants in the Seattle area with great natural wine selections. And if you’re still lost on how to shop for, or drink, natural wine, this Eater guide offers some helpful tips.
Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.
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