Modern winemaking has become a highly industrialised process – but a growing band of producers are going back to basics. The resulting wine is shocking: vibrant, earthy and alive.
You have,” says Isabelle Legeron, “to forget all you know about wine.” She pours two glasses of 2011 malvasia secca, produced by the Italian natural winemaker Camillo Donati. “Look at this one: it is all we are told a wine shouldn’t be – orangey, cloudy, fizzy, tannic. But …” (she sips) “delicious.” She is not wrong. Legeron, the indomitable daughter of a Cognac winemaker and the first French woman to become a Master of Wine, is on a mission: to persuade wine drinkers that the highly processed, heavily controlled, additive-infested stuff we usually drink is not what wine should be at all.
And she is making progress.