The natural wine movement is spreading. Everywhere I look in Tokyo, neighborhood wine bars and small bistros are introducing all-natural wine lists. I'm starting to wonder, why does natural wine fit so organically into the city?

Japanese consumers were early adopters of natural wine, developing a taste for it in the early 1990s — even before it was a trend in France.

Wine is considered "natural" when it is produced with minimal intervention — nothing added, nothing removed. No chemicals or artificial fertilizers are used on the vines nor is there any manipulation of flavor or additives used in the winemaking process. Natural wine growers even go beyond the stipulations needed to be labeled "organic," which say that no chemicals can be used to grow the grapes, but chemical and technological manipulations are allowed during the winemaking process.