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Speakers’ Corner

10 & 11 March 2019  |  #rawwineLDN  |  #SpeakersCorner

Speakers Corner at RAW WINE New York 2016

Food for thought. A collection of talks & tutored tastings taking place at the London fair, all free with your ticket. Please book your spot by clicking on the links below. Places at a couple of the tastings are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis so make sure you turn up early to avoid disappointment.

We’re delighted to have partnered with some of the UK’s top low-intervention organic, biodynamic & natural wine importers for this edition of Speakers’ Corner. See below for more details.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

11:30 – 12:30

The Trials & Tribulations of Growing & Making Natural Wine

Frances Garcia (Mas Zenitude) in conversation with Virginia Hartley (Ancestrel).

In 2006 Swedish lawyer Erik Gabrielson bought a 13th C Mas and a clutch of conventionally-farmed parcels in the Languedoc’s St-Jean de Fos – with the intention of giving the land back its natural rights. Working from scratch and with a near-barren ecosystem, he embarked on a massive project of biodynamic reinterpretation, working outside of AOCs and with the vertiginous freedom that came with being new to winemaking, a non-local, and a non-native. Today, after a decade of necessarily slow change, Mas Zenitude is a self-sustaining model of biodynamics, managed by Erik and Frances Garcia, his wife and winemaking partner since 2014. Via a vertical tasting of their old-vine (100 year) Carignan, Frances will be speaking about the evolution of ‘natural’ at their domaine, charting the formation of their identity in the glass and talking about where Mas Zenitude – unsulphured and biodynamic but without the funk and trendy signalling of many wines of this type – sits in the natural wine market today. 

To reserve a space, please contact Ancestrel.

13:00 – 14:00

Understanding Natural (fruit) Wine

with Côme Isambert, Karl Sjöström (Fruktstereo), Niklas Peltzer (Meinklang) and Cédric Le Bloas (Cidrerie du Leguer)

Grapes are often pitched as the only fruit capable of terroir expression and the production of fine drinks. This is, after all, what makes wine just so special, or so the wine world often proclaims. But as more and more producers begin blurring the lines of what constitutes wine, fermenting collections of fruit, honey and hops together to great acclaim, are we witnessing the birth of a diverse new world? Are these non-/part-grape drinks capable of greatness? Could they be long lived? And are we prepared to pay the right price for them?

In celebration of all fermentables, join us for this masterclass on fine natural wines, not – or in some cases partially – made from grapes. Featuring examples born of apples, pears and plums, as well as rainbow versions of each, we explore their growing and making, and hear from those – including wine producers and a wine importer! – who have taken up the mantle of their renaissance.

To book a space, please send us an email.

Grown in the USA!

Man holding waving American Flag

We’re delighted to dedicate Sunday afternoon to our home from home – the great USA. Low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wine is often thought of as an old world thing. And yet. This afternoon’s talks & tastings are testament to quite the opposite. Not only are America’s New Wave wine growers & makers making delicious drinks but many are pushing the boat so far out that they could even teach a thing or two to their European counterparts. Rock on America.

14:30 – 15:30

New Wave California

Jason Charles (Vinca Minor) and Nathan Roberts (Arnot-Roberts) in conversation with Alex Beaumont (Roberson Wine),

Explore historic California vineyards through the new generation of winemakers. We will be breaking down the existing perceptions about California wines with the help of Nathan Roberts from Arnot Roberts and Jason Charles from Vinca Minor,  covering the northern coast from the Santa Cruz Mountains up to Mendocino County, of course there will be a Napa Valley wine in there as well.   This is a great opportunity to learn about a range of American Viticultural Areas and the smaller, unique vineyards that lie within them.  

Featured wines:

  • Arnot-Roberts, Napa Valley: ‘Watson Ranch’ Chardonnay 2017
  • Broc Cellars, Mendocino: ‘Eagle Point Ranch’ Counoise 2016
  • Domaine de la Côte, Sta. Rita Hills: ‘Pure’ Pinot Noir 2016
  • Vinca Minor, Santa Cruz Mountains: ‘Bates Ranch’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

To reserve a space, please contact Roberson Wine.

16:00 – 17:00

The Importance of Biodiversity

Nate Ready (Hiyu Wine Farm) in conversation with Ben Slater (266 Wines)

Sit down with Nate Ready as he shares how they cultivate biodiversity on their farm in the Hood River Valley. He will relate the  approaches they use to encourage the establishment of a broad range of animals, plants, fungi and microbes and discuss how these networks of life influence the flavour of the food and wine produced there, their lifestyle and the essence of the place.  

To reserve a space, please contact 266 Wines.

Monday, 11 March 2019

10:30 – 11:30

Gravner – Exploring Evolution through Ribolla

Mateja Gravner (Gravner) in conversation with David Harvey (Raeburn Fine Wines).

22 years ago, Josko Gravner made his first vintage of what he called ‘amber wine’, made by macerating white grapes on their skins. Today we now know this category as orange wine – thanks to the naming prowess of one certain David Harvey, who will be leading this talk! Join us as we taste our way from Gravner’s early years, as they hit mid maturity, through to recent releases which actually experience much longer macerations and elevage than they did in 1997. The tasting will include the following wines: Ribolla 2010, Ribolla 2007, Ribolla 2004 & Ribolla 1999.

To reserve a spot, please contact Raeburn Fine Wines. Please note – due to high demand, Raeburn requests that you be on time as latecomer’s seats may be offered to the waitlist.

12:00 – 13:00

Georgia – An Exploration of Indigenous Grape Varieties

with Zura Mgvdliasvhili (Nikalas Marani & President, Natural Wine Association) & George Wolski (Château Khashmi).

As wine lovers, we certainly owe Georgia a great deal. Not only is this tiny country in the Caucasus very possibly the birthplace of wine (they’re at 9000 vintages and counting), but it also boasts no fewer than 500 indigenous grape varieties. In fact this total may be grossly underestimated if you count wild varieties that have not yet been fully identified. Join us for this masterclass to get to grips with the history, growing cycle and taste profiles of six of the country’s star grapes, under the tutelage of Georgia’s foremost collection of low-intervention organic growers & makers – the Natural Wine Association.

To book a space, please send us an email.

14:00 – 15:00

Understanding Bubbles

With Patrick Schmitt MW (Editor-in-Chief, The Drinks Business)

Featured wines:

  • Ancre Hill, Triomphe Pet Nat, Wales, UK, NV
  • Cantina Furlani, Sur Lie Alpino, Trentino, Italy, 2017
  • Champagne Franck Pascal, Fluence Brut Nature, Champagne, France NV
  • Divella, Blanc des Blancs, Franciacorta, Italy, 2015
  • Meinklang, Foam White, Burgenland, Austria,  2017
  • Swick, The Beav, American Sparkling Wine, Oregon and Washington, 2018

More information to follow.

To book a space, please send us an email.

15:30 – 16:30

Gut Oggau – Up Close & Personal

Stephanie and Eduard Tscheppe-Eselböck (Gut Oggau) in conversation.

Join this remarkable couple on a deep dive into their world. Exploring farming, biodynamics, viticulture and more, this informal, ‘fireside chat’ will encourage participation by the audience, so come armed with anything you have longed (but not dared) to ask. Featuring a focused tasting of their unusual 2016 family reunion wines, which fundamentally altered their approach to their work, you’ll come away with a greater understanding of just how alive wine growing & making actually is. Far from being static and mechanically scalable, natural wine creation is all about dancing with change as plants, place and people grow and mature together.  

To reserve a space, please contact Dynamic Vines.