Natural wine is more of a concept than a well-defined category with agreed-upon characteristics. In its purest form, it is wine made from unadulterated fermented grape juice and nothing else.
The presence of sulfites doesn’t necessarily disqualify a bottle from the natural wine category, though. Small amounts of sulfites — around 10 to 35 parts per million — are in natural wine circles generally considered an acceptable amount of preservative to add in the bottling stage. Conventional wine, on the other hand, often uses much higher amounts of the stuff, which some natural wine supporters think “deadens” the flavor of the finished product. In the US, the maximum amount is 350 parts per million.
There’s a misconception that natural wine is one thing — that it’s ‘funky’ or ‘not clean,. That’s an injustice. Because natural wine can still honor your palate if you’ve been drinking wine from the grocery store, but the cool thing is that it’s chemical-free, and that’s awesome.