This is what we look for when we stock wines for Cork Culture:
Wild Yeasts: Yeasts are almost never talked about, but they are the most important part of good wine. Wines should be made with natural yeasts found on the grapes, in the vineyards, and in the cellars. Manufactured and cultured yeasts that speed up fermentation or “enhance” the aromas and flavors are unacceptable.
Good Viticulture: We like producers that use natural methods when tending their vines. Doesn't matter what they call it—happier vines = happier wines.
No or Minimal Chaptalization: No candy in the Cabernet please. We don't want sugar added to the grape must to make an abnormally alcoholic wine.
Non-Interventionist Winemaking: We look for authenticity in wine. Wines should showcase their place of origin and varietal character. They should be balanced, not over-the-top. Minimal use of S02 is encouraged.
Hand-Harvesting: This isn't essential, but it shows love. Careful growers harvest by hand, not by machine. We like the fruit to be picked by people who care about the quality.
Low Yields: Low yields usually means that the growers sacrifice quantity for quality. It also means the grapes are more concentrated in flavour. This is very important in tough years when winemakers have to sort out only the best grapes to use in their wines.