By Hayley McSwain on April 28th, 2023

Natural and Organic wine is getting increasingly popular among winemakers and consumers alike. In recent years consumers have become more interested in how wine is made, if it's sustainable, and what exactly they are putting into their bodies when they drink it.

The wine world can be a bit murky when it comes to what goes into a wine because labeling standards vary across regions and countries.

In the United States, there is no federal law mandating wine labels list ingredients unless they are certified USDA Organic. Things get even more complicated when we see the words Natural or Low-intervention thrown around, as these terms have no standard definition.

Texas has does not have certified organic vineyard yet, but more wineries producing natural and organically made Texas wines.

What is Natural and Organic Wine?

Natural wine generally refers to grapes grown organically, often handpicked, fermented with the natural yeast found on the grape skins and in the air, and made without additives like tartaric acid and sugar. The finished wine is usually unfiltered and has a cloudy appearance.

Low-intervention is sometimes used interchangeably with the word “natural” in the wine world. Some natural winemakers add minimal sulfites, a preservative and stabilizer, during the winemaking and bottling process.

Natural wine is not a regulated term and not all natural winemakers make wine the same way. Natural wines are made with minimal intervention in the vineyard and in the winery.

The purest form of natural wine is often referred to as “zero-zero”, nothing added and nothing taken away, just unadulterated fermented grape juice.

Organic wine is made with organically farmed grapes, meaning the vineyard does not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. The USA and Europe have certification labels used for organic wine that you will see on the bottle.

Another term you might hear when encountering natural wines is biodynamic. Biodynamic wine refers to a form of organic farming that creates a self-sufficient ecosystem on the vineyard, often including caring for animals and then using their manure and composting to add back into the soil to create a healthier and more sustainable crop.

Demeter certification is given to biodynamic vineyards or farms. Still many winemakers will claim they farm biodynamically without the official certification, as it is a costly and tedious process.

Read more about these wine terms in “Organic, Biodynamic, Natural, and Sustainable Wines - What's The Difference?

What is the difference between Natural and Organic Wine?

Not all organic wine is natural wine. In order to get the USDA Organic stamp on a wine label, regulations state the wine must be made with organic grapes and contain only naturally occurring sulfites (less than 10 parts per million).

You might even see “Made with Organic Grapes” on the label. This means that organic grapes were used but during the winemaking process additives like sulfites, commercial yeasts, acids and sugar might have been added, although these ingredients should be disclosed on the label.

In short, organic wine refers to the way grapes are grown and produced, while natural wine refers to the minimal intervention in the winemaking process. While there is some overlap between the two, they are not the same thing.

Why Drink Natural Wine?

There are many reasons to give natural wine a try, the best being that the wines can be downright delicious. Here are a few other reasons why you should consider drinking natural wine:


Natural winemaking prioritizes the expression of the vineyard's unique characteristics, including the soil, climate, and grape variety. Without the use of additives, the natural flavors and aromas of the grapes shine through, creating a wine that truly reflects its terroir.


Natural winemakers are often more transparent about their production methods, and many provide information about their vineyard management, winemaking techniques, and other details on their labels or websites. This transparency allows consumers to make informed choices about the wine they are drinking.

Avoid unnecessary additives

Many conventional wines contain additives such as sulfur dioxide, fining agents, and coloring agents. While these additives are generally recognized as safe, some people may be sensitive to them or prefer to avoid them.

Natural wine is made without these additives, making it a good choice for those who are looking to avoid unnecessary chemicals in their wine.

Support small producers

Many natural winemakers are small, family-owned operations that rely on traditional techniques and sustainable agriculture. By drinking natural wine, you are supporting these small producers and helping to preserve traditional winemaking methods.

Experimental styles

Natural winemakers are often willing to experiment with new techniques and grape varieties, leading to unique expressions of wine that you won't find anywhere else.

Additionally, natural winemakers often work with lesser-known grape varieties or regions, helping to preserve biodiversity in the wine industry.

Support regenerative and sustainable agriculture

Natural winemaking often prioritizes sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices, including cover cropping, composting, and avoiding the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. By supporting natural winemakers, you are supporting these sustainable farming practices.

Many claim drinking natural wine is healthier for you and the lack of added sulfites leads to fewer headaches and hangovers, but unfortunately there is no science to back that up.

How to Tell if a Wine is Natural or Organic?

Wine labels tell us so much about the wine we consume. Read the label, front and back, to see if the wine you're drinking is labeled organic, natural, biodynamic, sustainable or low-intervention.

You can also do some research on the winery or producer to read about their winemaking philosophy.

Many natural Texas winemakers source their grapes from the same vineyards, so take note of any vineyard name on the label and you might discover the wine you're drinking is natural or organically grown.

Of course the best way to find out more about the way a wine is produced would be to visit the winery and ask about the winemaking philosophy and production process during a tasting.

Texas Wineries Making Natural & Organic Wine

Interested in trying natural Texas wine? Here are a few producers to try the next time you are in Texas wine country:

Southold Farm & Cellar - Fredericksburg, TX Located in the Texas hill country, Southold Farm & Cellar began in 2012 in Long Island, NY, before moving the winery to Texas in 2016.

Winemaker Regan Menard believes in farming first and embraces the variations of each vintage.

Crowson Wines - Johnson City, TX Visit Crowson Wines in Johnson City where winemaker Henry Crowson will greet you with a bear hug and a glass of his unique natural Texas wine.

Started in 2016, Crowson has developed his zero-zero winemaking style, nothing added, nothing taken away, for a true expression of the grape and terroir.

Alta Marfa - Marfa, TX Owners Katie Jablonski and Ricky Taylor had a dream of planting a vineyard and making wine in west Texas. Today they have two vineyards planted and a new tasting room located in Marfa.

Serving up delicious natural wine unique to the region, Alta Marfa uses spontaneous fermentation, and never fines, filters or acidifies their wines.

Le Cruz de Comal Wines - New Braunfels, TX Located near Canyon Lake in New Braunfels, Le Cruz de Comal was born from a collaboration of two friends, California winemaker Tony Coturri and Texas wine enthusiast Lewis Dickson.

Since 2000, Le Cruz de Comal has been using 100% estate grown grapes, wild fermentations and absolutely no additions. To put it simply, “it is real wine”.

Robert Clay Vineyards - Mason, TX Based in Mason, Robert Clay Vineyards (RCV) focuses on their fruit first and believes in a natural approach on the vineyard and in the winery.

As one of the oldest vineyards in Texas Hill Country, RCV grew and sold their grapes to many of the previously mentioned producers before owner and winemaker Dan McLaughlin started making his own wine in 2016.

RCV says their natural winemaking approach “is not a trend but the original and most authentic form of wine growing”.

Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards - Boerne, TX Named after the patron saint for grape-growers, Saint Tryphon makes wine where the character of the fruit is allowed expression through non-interventionist wine production methods.

Winemaker Silouan Bradford believes his low-intervention winemaking results in wines of place and of pleasure.

Wine for the People - Austin, TX Winemaker Rae Wilson is one of the few female winemakers in the state of Texas. Founded in 2010, Wine for the People utilizes sustainable practices, minimal intervention winemaking, and a dedication to explore true Texas terroir.

Wilson has said, “I let nature ferment it as much as possible to guide it into the greatest expression it can be. I’m not here to engineer a wine.” You can taste her wine in their new tasting room in Austin.

C.L. Butaud Winery - Austin, TX Visit C.L. Butaud’s tasting room on the western outskirts of Austin to try some ultra-premium natural Texas wine.

After years of learning the craft in Napa, California, winemaker Randy Hester opened his own operation in Texas and named his label after his great grandfather.

Hester utilizes a minimalist and sometimes experimental approach to winemaking, paying respect to the centuries of evolution in winemaking.

The Austin Winery and Collective - Austin, TX This urban winery located in a warehouse in south Austin is making natural wines that your old-school dad will approve of.

The Austin Winery uses 100% Texas grown grapes, native yeast fermented, and without adjustments to acid or tannin. In addition, they house a winemaking collective focused on fostering the growth of emerging natural winemakers.

Where to Find Natural Wine Shops in Texas


Light Years Wine

Montrose Cheese and Wine

The Heights Grocer

Imperial Wine

Dallas & Ft Worth

Bar and Garden

The Holly


Cork & Screw

Sunrise Bottle Shop


San Antonio

Little Death


Marfa Wine Co.


Author: Hayley McSwain

Hayley McSwain is a traveling writer and seasonal cellar rat
passionate about exploring the world of wine. Hayley lives a nomadic
lifestyle in a motorhome with her husband and two dogs, traveling across
North America and offering her perspective on its diverse landscapes
and cultures.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Hayley deeply appreciates the
unique and diverse wines produced throughout her home state. Her
dedication to exploring Texas wines has led her to become an advocate
for this under-recognized wine region. Whether tasting a new wine or
exploring a new place, Hayley is committed to living life to the fullest
and inspiring others to do the same.

Natural Texas wine

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