As terms like natural, biodynamic and orange reverberate through the wine world, it’s time to cultivate a deeper understanding of the wines that fall within these fascinating categories. Quench your thirst for knowledge with these books that speak to all things artisan wine.
Wine Revolution: The World’s Best Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wines
By Jane Anson (Jacqui Small, 2017)
A catchall reference, this book highlights some of the world’s greatest artisan wines and the people behind them. It also includes food pairing suggestions and a glossary of key terminology.
The Dirty Guide to Wine
By Alice Feiring, with Pascaline Lepeltier, MS (Countryman Press, 2017)
Rather than employ traditional varietal/regional organization, this ambitious guide categorizes wines by soil. In the process, it makes a strong case for sensitive farming and winemaking.
Amber Revolution: How the World Learned to Love Orange Wine
By Simon J. Woolf (Interlink Publishing Group, Inc., 2018)
Take a deep dive into the colorful characters and regions that have shaped orange wine, or cherry-pick tidbits for a clearer picture of this popular, yet often misunderstood, category.
Flawless: Understanding Faults in Wine
By Jamie Goode (University of California Press, 2018)
With terms like volatile acidity and Brettanomyces used—and sometimes misused—in relation to natural wine, this provides an understanding of common faults that may be in your glass.
No artisan wine lover’s bookshelf would be complete without these natty-loving classics.
An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir
By Deirdre Heekin (Chelsea Green, 2014)
Green thumbs will relish this beautifully photographed book by vigneron Heekin. She not only shares the journey of the conversion of her alpine Vermont homestead into the biodynamic La Garagista Farm + Winery, but also provides a wealth of practical farming and gardening advice.
Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking
By Jamie Goode and Sam Harrop, MW (University of California Press, 2013)
From a highly respected wine scientist (Goode) and a winemaker/master of wine (Harrop), this thorough guide offers a practical, science-based historical and anthropological overview of all things natural, organic and biodynamic.
The Battle for Wine and Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization
By Alice Feiring (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008)
One of natural wine’s top authorities and longstanding champions, Feiring is credited for having ignited the natural wine conversation in America with this passionate and ultra-readable war cry for a more authentic wine world. Ten years later, it remains a must read.
The Future Makers: Australian Wines For The 21st Century
By Max Allen (Hardie Grant, 2011)
Australian wine’s renaissance owes much to a new breed of innovative, environmental-focused producers, many of whom are profiled here, though more current players are missing from this eight-year-old book. Nevertheless, it’s an engaging overview of the “new” Australia, written by one of its longtime cheerleaders.
Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally
By Alice Feiring (Da Capo, 2011)
In natural-wine guru Feiring’s second solo book, she sets out on her own winemaking adventure and presents a deep dive into the inner workings of natural wine. Feiring’s writing is entertaining, humorous, passionate and educational.
By Isabelle Legeron, MW (Ryland Peters & Small, 2014)
The founder of the ever-expanding RAW WINE fairs examines this complex category clearly, digestibly and in no-nonsense fashion. Published in 2014, some now-key winemakers are absent from the producer profiles, but it’s nevertheless an excellent introduction to natural wine.
Real Wine: The Rediscovery of Natural Winemaking
By Patrick Matthews (Mitchell Beazley, 2000)
Before “natural” became common wine parlance, Matthews not only used it, but dove deep into these wines, philosophically, politically and technically. It’s a fascinating look at late ’90s winemaking in California and the early days of the natural wine revolution, even if some of the book is outdated.
Voodoo Vintners: Oregon’s Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers
By Katherine Cole (Oregon State University Press, 2011)
This may be a short and easy read, but it’s info-packed. Told through the lens of Oregon’s pioneering biodynamic wineries, and with a strong nod toward Burgundy, Cole’s guide is an absorbing introduction to this now-worldwide winegrowing approach.