This month, up and down the UK, real wine is being celebrated and promoted by over 200 restaurants and independent retailers in conjunction with the ‘Real Wine Fair’, which will be taking place at Tobacco Dock, Wapping, in the East End of London. On the 12th and 13th of May, The Real Wine Fair will be hosting around 170 growers and winemakers who will be pouring their products to consumers, trade visitors and the press. The fair will also feature “street food stalls; artisan food producers; a series of seminars and masterclasses on themes surrounding natural wine; book-signings, as well as other attractions.” But what exactly is ‘real wine’?
According to the Real Wine Fair’s website: “Real wine is a term embracing wines that are made organically, biodynamically and naturally. By no means precise nor prescriptive it serves chiefly to highlight growers who work with minimal mediation, ideally to obtain the purest articulation of terroir, fruit and vintage.”
So, the term real wine isn’t meant to be an elitist set of principles and practices that every winemaker should adhere to, but rather a way of highlighting growers and makers who go the extra mile in ensuring they are creating a quality product that respects the environment and the ingredients they are using. This usually involves low intervention practices, including no or minimal use of chemicals in both the vineyard and winery (such as pesticides and corrective chemicals). However, the term 'low intervention' can be seen as a bit of a misnomer. Despite these practices requiring less automated input and additives to the wine, the people who work the fields and work in the winery will be present in every aspect of the wine’s production. Tasting the juice; monitoring the wine; decisions on racking and blending; choice of fermentation and maturation vessels and more goes into the production of real wines.
How can I get Involved?
This year, over 20 countries are represented at the fair, all from different backgrounds with different and distinctive styles, but united by the principles of ‘real wine’. If you’re interested in participating in Real Wine Month or attending The Real Wine Fair tickets can be bought here, and a list of participating venues can be found here. At High Road Bottles, we are offering 10% off all labelled ‘real wines’ for the entire month.