The Raw Wine Fair 2018 is coming to London. But what is raw wine?
London already has its share of raw/natural wine bars, scattered around London Bridge, Farringdon and Hackney. But on Sunday 11th and Monday 12th March, the city will fleetingly become the global epicentre of the raw wine community, as it hosts the Raw Wine Fair 2018. Here, producers, importers, business owners and plain old fans convene to chat, sip, and quite possibly evangelise about biodynamic sediment (if such a thing exists). For the uninitiated: what is raw wine, and why should you care about it?
The fact that the other Raw Wine Fairs are in Berlin, New York and LA should provide a clue to the concept’s forward-thinking, environmentally conscious nature. And, as you’d expect, to qualify as raw wines, producers must adhere to a low-intervention, organic ethos that includes hand harvesting and minimal use of additives and preservatives.
In what almost reads like a set of religious commandments, the Raw Wine website lays down the following laws. Hereby, raw wines must be…
- 1. Made with organic grapes, grown without the use of artificial chemicals.
- 2. Prepared by hand using artisanal techniques.
- 3. Made using traditional winemaking processes that enable balance.
- 4. Create a living wine, with low intervention in the cellar.
- 5. Promote wellbeing in individuals and communities.
So What Does Raw Wine Taste Like?
I won’t pretend to be a huge expert on raw wines, but I’ve tried a few down the years. The most recent was an interesting orange wine by A Demûa, which I had at the zero-waste restaurant Silo in Brighton. Here’s a somewhat soft and dreamy photo I took of it. Ah, memories…
I must admit, it polarised opinion around the table. For some, the rustic, sour, earthy flavours; the almost scrumpy-like farmyard aromas and the layer of unfiltered sediment were too intense. Others enjoyed its honest, in-your-face, no-nonsense boldness, not to mention its honey/sunshine glow. Personally, I love the philosophy and it left me wanting to investigate further.
Why Should You Try Raw Wine?
“Regular wine? That’s just alcoholic grape juice?!” Who better to answer this than Raw Wine Fair organiser Isabelle Legeron? Here she is having a rant about the subject. Some of what she says is likely to ruffle the wine establishment’s feathers, but that can only be a good thing. And I do enjoy a rant.
Raw Wine Fair 2018: The Details
The price of a ticket includes a Raw Wine London 2018 catalogue, a take-home tasting glass and the opportunity to taste all of the wines featured for free.
Sunday 11th March (10am to 6pm) and Monday 12th March (10 am to 6 pm)
The Store, 180 The Strand, WC2R 1EA London
Nearest Tubes: Temple (3 mins’ walk); Covent Garden & Holborn (9 mins’ walk)
Entry (all tastings free once inside)
1-day access: £45
2-day access: £75 (online only)
1-day access: £15
2-day access: £30 (online only)
See the website for tickets
Instagram & Facebook: @rawwineworld
Do you have a favourite raw/natural wine? I’d love to hear about it in the comments (including details about how to buy).