Natural wine has been buzzing and making its appearance in mainstream media and on the menus of “it spot” establishments. This isn’t by accident, rather because of the passion and advocacy of France’s only female Master of Wine, Isabelle Legeron. She is leading the charge bringing to light transparency in winemaking and growing by supporting the natural wine movement through her RAW WINE artisan fair, which she introduced to the world in 2012 in Berlin.
It has since traveled to London and just last year made it to the States with a successful showing in Brooklyn to the tune of about 2,300 attendees. It’s making a bicoastal debut with an event in Los Angeles, November 12-13, immediately following its return to Brooklyn on November 5-6.
When we first heard about natural wine in the media, it was on an episode of rapper Action Bronson’s F*ck, That’s Delicious on Viceland. In the show, he was with winemaker Frank Cornelissen, who makes wine with principles that use no intervention on the land they cultivate and winemaking with no additives. Cornelissen’s Susucaro, a natural rosé wine that is made in small batches in Sicily’s Mount Edna, was the star of the show. Bronson went crazy for it.
You could say this style of winemaking is beyond organic and the fair is a celebration of these low-intervention organic and biodynamic wines. Legeron is passionate about transparency,—knowing exactly what’s in your glass and that any additives or processing should be communicated—authenticity, and showcasing really good wines. She believes natural wines are “pure, kind to the planet, very possibly better for your health, and best of all, they’re absolutely delicious.”
Natural wine is not new, you may have had an Italian or French varietal, yet it is definitely a movement that is catching on among the “cool kids.”
A few months back, we were in Miami at 27 Restaurant’s upstairs bar—connected to the Freehand and Broken Shaker—and natural wine selections were on the list. I chose an Italian, Verdicchio, Fattoria San Lorenzo 2016, from the Marche region, which had a familiar nose and taste, and was most likely one I had before not realizing it was natural.
Looking for a more Susucaru-like experience, my s.o. was a bit more adventurous and went with the recommendation of the gent behind the bar, who explained this is not a wine for all palettes, Pais, Santa Cruz de Coya 2016, Valle de Bio Bio, from Chile.
He described it as, “Fresh juice meets goat cheese, not as funky as blue cheese, but it has a little funk to it. It shifted my whole perspective on wine, it’s happy wine. It made me happy.”
Bronson had a similar change of heart about wine, “I didn’t give a shit about wine at all. It never turned me on.” With natural wine he explains, “I don’t know how to categorize it, but it’s something special. Ancient and special.” He is on the natural winemaking bandwagon too and collaborated with winemaker Patrick Bouju of Domaine La Boheme, based in the Loire region, to launch his own brand called, À La Natural.
There have been photos of Bronson and Legeron announcing a RAW WINE appearance on Vice’s Munchies. We’re hoping he makes an appearance at New York’s RAW WINE fair in just a few short weeks. If anything, to get a taste of the À La Natural and hoping Cornelissen brings along some much coveted Susucaru.
At RAW WINE NYC there will be over 120 growers and producers coming from international locations including France, Italy, Austria, Australia, Chile, and Greece. Also part of the celebration is RAW WINE WEEK coinciding with the fair. Events spanning from coast to coast take place in participating restaurants, bars, and wine shops November 3-13.
For more information about RAW WINE WEEK, visit newyork.rawwine.com/2017/rawwineweek.
For more information about RAW WINE and event times and locations, visit www.rawwine.com