Coming to London next month is RAW, a “totally independent” wine fair created and organized by “Crazy FrenchWoman” and the first French female Master of Wine, Isabelle Legeron. The two-day fair celebrates natural wines from around the world that, as Isabelle puts it, are “authentic expressions of place” and the “polar opposites of industrialized, big-brand, manufactured, nothing-but-alcoholic-grape-juice wines, that use imagery and suggestion to sell a product.”
All wines presented at RAW have to fulfil the following “quality of character” criteria:
• Grapes must be farmed organically and/or biodynamically, whether or not certified;
• The entirety of the Domaine from which the grapes are issued must be farmed organically and/or biodynamically, whether or not certified;
• Grapes must be hand-harvested;
• Only indigenous yeasts may be used except in the case of the second fermentation of sparkling wines, when neutral yeasts may be added;
• No winemaking additives may be used in the cellar bar, at most, a little SO2*. (We understand this to mean that the producer is ultimately aiming to add as little SO2 as possible. Total sulphites will be clearly labeled, unless no sulphites have been added whatsoever, in which case the mention “no added sulphites” will be included in the wine’s description);
• No ʻheavy-manipulationʼ has been carried out using winemaking gadgetry such as reverse osmosis or cryo-extraction, spinning cone, and so forth.
Essentially, RAW showcases wines madewith extreme passion and exceptional indie spirit.
Whether you’re looking to quaff some environmentally friendly vino, keen to sample something dramatically different than that same old pinot grigio or you’re simply curious about what might just be the next big thing in viticulture, this year’s RAW takes place on the 19th and 20th of May at the Old Truman Brewery in East London (near Liverpool Street Rail and Underground Station and Shoreditch High Street Overground Station) on the 20th and 21st of May from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ticket prices start at £20 (approximately $30) in advance or £25 (roughly $40) at the door and entitle you to a catalogue, a tasting glass and the opportunity to taste some 500 natural wines, attend thought-provoking talks and tasting seminars and meet dozens of inspired artisan producers.
Find out lots more at rawfair.com.
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Photo: Chris Osburn