As well as a restaurant we are a wine bar boasting a wide selection of natural, biodynamic and low-intervention wines.
Our wine list is built around a sense of place. We’ve focused firstly on distance – minimising the miles between grape and glass – and secondly on terroir, selecting wines from shorelines around Europe which bring with them their own sea breeze and seaside personality. These coastal wines perfectly match our seafront cooking and local seafood, as well as our coastal produce and seafaring outlook.
We have wines on tap, including a Muscadet – perfect with oysters! – from Nicolas Reau in Loire, and the Tillingham White, made by Ben Walgate just down the road near Rye.
What does natural wine mean?
Some common questions answered…
What is natural wine?
Natural Wine is farmed organically and made without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and intervention is kept to a minimum. They are unfined and unfiltered, resulting in a living wine with character and personality – sometimes with cloudiness and a slight effervescence.
What about biodynamic?
The idea behind biodynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected, including the moon, planets and stars. Biodynamic farming is completely organic, but also follows a special lunar calendar. Additionally, biodynamic wine allows no ‘manufactured’ additions, even organic ones. For example, commercial yeast won’t be added to the wine, instead harnessing naturally occurring yeasts from the grapes and winery – the ultimate expression of terroir.
The issue of sulphites
Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is used by many winemakers to preserve wine and prevent oxidation. Natural wine has no added sulphur (although some may naturally occur). Apart from the fact that the idea of pumping chemicals into your wine is a bit unpleasant, the use of SO2 has been linked to allergic reactions, asthma and much worse hangovers.
How is our wine sustainable?
Working out whether a wine is sustainable or not is a complicated business, but a few of the key principles to consider are whether farming methods are organic, water and energy efficiency in the vineyard and winery, and whether winery workers are paid fairly and treated well. Transportation is also an important issue, which is why the majority of our wines are from Europe (and Sussex and Kent). We believe a few treats are worth bringing in from further afield, though. Read more about the many ways we aim to be a sustainable restaurant.
Naturally vegan and vegetarian
The reason that not all wine is vegetarian or vegan is the way that it is clarified through a process known as ‘fining’. Common agents used for this are casein (milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder). Natural wine is unfined so naturally vegan.
Last but not least… we love it!
At the end of the day, what is the point in natural, sustainable or biodynamic wine if it doesn’t taste great. For us, natural wine is exciting and expressive on the palate, it is wine with a story to tell and a direct connection to its roots. We believe that what’s in your glass should reflect its natural environment – grapes and growers going their own way, a true taste of terroir and its people.
If you’re a fan of natural wine, also check out our sister restaurant and natural wine bar Farmyard in St Leonards. Our list there is made up of more than 140 bottles, with at least 40 by the glass.