I first met her during my visit to VinNatur fair in Vicenza (Villa Favorita) end of March this year. I knew Isabelle Legeron from her fantastic TV shows. I particularly loved her Georgia coverage. When we talked at Elisabeta Foradori’s table, she told me about RAW fair, she’s been organizing in London for the second time and invited me there. After checking her and the RAW websites I was sure I must go to London this year.

I’ve been researching, searching, tasting, enjoying and importing natural wine for the last five or so years. VinNatur and ViniVeri consortiums have been very helpful for me, but Isabelle is certainly doing a big step forward here. How?

Discussions what natural wine really is or isn’t, have been endless, though my personal opinion is, that it really isn’t that difficult to define natural wine. This post is not being written to define natural wine though. It is meant to invite people to visit RAW fair in London on May 20 and 21. If you can’t make it there, you can get lots of information on the web site. The important thing is, that Isabelle has managed to promote natural wines and made it very clear what natural wine should be, have – or more important – what shouldn’t be, have. I’m not bio, eco, organic, biodynamic … freak, but I know today, more than ever before, what I expect from wine. In one sentence – I want to enjoy wine which tells me: “I’m from here or I’m from there”. I don’t want to drink a chardonnay from Goriška Brda which tastes like Chablis.

There will be about 200 wine artisans from all over the world attending RAW fair, with more then 800 samples. Those wines always tell us where they come from, whether we like it or not. Now I can really say whether I like Nerello Mascalese from Sicily or not, whether I like some Burgougne Chardonnay or not, because now their taste is straight, real, reflecting terroir and every single vintage. No aromatic yeasts, no stabilizers, with original acids etc. etc.

Natural wines are real thing. It is not something, which is now in, fancy and will go with season or two. It is something which once was and we’ve been lucky enough to see it coming back. Beside the artisans and their wines, we will have the chance to hear many very interesting discussions during the fair. Maybe the most important topic, which will be discussed is transparency. What we know for sure is that we NEVER know what particular wine really contains. Every package of food or beverage in your local supermarket must have very detailed information on content, additives, preservatives … but not wine. In my opinion, this must change. We have the right to know whether it is bottle of pristine wine we are just opening or is it an alcohol beverage, based on wine grape or – worse yet – its concentrate.

Wines presented at RAW fair will carry all information about added (or not) sulfites or any other stuff or intervention.

I’m really looking forward. Thanks Isabelle!

Photo: “That Crazy French Woman”