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206 natural wine artisans, organic Cognac and beer, sake made of organic rise, excellent salmon, oysters, cheeses, cakes, coffee … Isabelle Legeron and her team succeeded in organization of truly great event, praising non-interventional approach to cultivation of vineyard and production of wine. I was there both days with my friend Andrej, great connoisseur of good food and wine and we really had a great time. I also visited TheRealWineFair on Tuesday and found very similar picture there with almost 200 artisans there as well.

Quick snack at RAWfair

Quick snack at RAWfair

Slovenia is a small country with population just over 2 million, so we’ve been used that when we travel abroad, we often have to explain who we are, where we are geographically etc. We were proud in London. Speaking with at least 100 wine producers from all over the world, we didn’t have to explain once, where Slovenia is. Thanks to brilliant slovenian producers from homeland and those from italian Collio and Carso, wine world knows clearly where Slovenia is. Movia (Aleš Kristančič), Čotar, Mlečnik, Nando (Andrej Kristančič), Batič, Klabjan, Štekar, Klinec, Prinčič, Radikon, Terpin, Vodopivec, Podveršič, … are only some of the great producers who put Slovenia clearly on the wine world map. It was great to see them among “crème de la crème” natural wine artisans.

We’d tasted over 170 samples of white, orange, rose, red and sparkling wines. As always, some shouldn’t have been there (samples, I mean), but many were really good, excellent I’d say. One can find absolutely stunning wines from all over the planet, but I was focusing on wines primarily from Italy, France and Georgia, the new – old player in the wine world. I was pleasantly surprised by some rieslings from Austria and Germany. Quite different from classic stuff from there. But let’s get back to the main players. Italy and France still lead the way in natural wine world. I’d say though, and this is my personal, non-expert opinion, that Italy (and Slovenia) produce some of the best natural white (and orange) wines in the world. The best white and orange samples in my book come from Italy and Slovenia. Of course there are fantastic whites and also some oranges “Made in France”, but many of french natural whites are still too similar to conventional french whites, with too much vanilla, almond, even smoke in smell and taste.
I discovered some absolutely fabulous whites/oranges from Campania and Veneto. I intend to write about particular producers and their wines in future posts though.

Great frizzante from Emilia-Romagna

Many wines we’d tasted were still very young, many far too “raw” to drink, but with very bright future. Most orange wines from Georgia need at least one more year to mature in the bottle. If you’ll leave them to rest for two, three years, then you’ll really be rewarded. The same goes for Georgian reds, only that they need at least one additional year comparing to orange ones. Georgian wines and producers, presented at RAW and TheRealWineFair, definitely have the right direction and brilliant future.

…at Georgian Kvevri

There was quite a lot of 2010 and 2011 vintages, which is OK, but occasional natural wine drinker might be misled, because many of those young wines are not ready for drinking. They are often too rough on tannins and simply too wild or raw at this point. In a year or two, they will get the roundness they lack now.

David Léclapart, L’Apôtre Champagne

David Léclapart treated us with vertical tasting of his L’Apôtre 2007 – 2004.

Magnificent Champagnes and interesting lecture. Do I have to mention reds from Bourgogne and Bordeaux? Grand wines.

Both events once again confirmed, what many of us have known since long time ago. Natural wines are real and serious thing and are here today and here to stay – long in the future.

Looking forward to 2013 events.