San Francisco Leads West Coast in Burgeoning Natural Wine Scene

San Francisco Leads West Coast in Burgeoning Natural Wine Scene

By Justin Dolezal, Foodable Contributor

If you count a high quality wine scene as one of your must haves in a city, there are few places better to live in or travel to than the San Francisco Bay Area. Situated near the famous wine regions of Napa and Sonoma and infused with a culture that has always valued high-end cuisine and old world charm, the Bay Area has embraced wine culture on a level unmatched in the United States (you'd expect no less from the “Paris of the West”). And though there's certainly an abundance of extravagantly priced, oak-bombed bottles littering the city, wine lovers here have also embraced the current hot trend in the world of vino: natural wine. 

Natural wine may feel very of the moment, but at its core the movement is based around an attempt to bring wine making back to its roots. “Natural Wine” may mean different things to different people, but in a basic sense it refers to wine made with minimal human intervention, using organic or biodynamically grown grapes, free of additives and fermented with native yeasts. Flavor additives and chemical manipulation are also not allowed. Unable to use human devices to interfere with the process, winemakers must instead work with the natural process that creates wine, focusing on terroir, vine health, and seasonal variation. The result is a class of incredibly complex, diverse wines which can be seen as pure expressions of their environments. Natural wine is lively, unique, and interesting, and offers an alternative to the Chardonnay and Malbec class of wines that have come to dominate the wine market. The following is a list of San Francisco hot spots that have achieved great success by including natural wines on their lists.

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Place In A Pint: How Craft Breweries Are Bringing the Concept of Terroir Back to Beer

Place In A Pint: How Craft Breweries Are Bringing the Concept of Terroir Back to Beer

By Justin Dolezal, Foodable Contributor

Locavorism has become one of the dominant food trends of the past ten years, as millennial diners have become increasingly conscientious about the origin of the foods they eat. What started as a desire for general information on farms, producers and products has morphed into an intense general interest in local cuisine. While this might seem like a strictly millennial trend, it has its roots in the centuries old concept of terroir, or the idea that food and drink can paint a picture of the place from whence it came. 

Though the idea of terroir is most closely associated with wine (though many in the wine world cast doubt on the concept's validity), it is also common for producers working in fields such coffee, chocolate, cheese, tea and agave to invoke the term to describe the effect that a certain place can have on the agricultural products it produces. Knowing that a renewed interest in place and product authenticity can be a big selling point to millennial diners has brought the idea of terroir to the forefront of food and beverage movements where it might least have been expected, including terroir-driven wine's cool younger sibling: craft beer.

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