Real Wine Fair pulls in the crowds

19 April, 2016

Visitors flocked to this year’s Real Wine Fair at London’s Tobacco Dock’s this week as more producers than ever before showed off their ‘natural’ wines.

The event, which is now in its fifth year, included 163 growers spanning 17 wine producing countries. Saké was represented at the event for the first time, as well as wines from Austria, while more wines from the New World were also on show this year. In addition, three English producers showed their wines at the event.

“It can be hard to include wines from New Zealand and Australia at this event, partly due to the time of year in terms of their wine production timings,” explained Doug Wregg, the director of sales and marketing for wine agent Les Caves de Pyrene, which organised the event. “But for the first time we have 13 growers here from the States, and it’s not just California but also producers here from Oregon and Vermont. These have not been represented before in this country.

“Predominantly though we have wines from the Old World. When we started our company it was with wines from South West France and these were all artisan wineries which only produced small quantities of wine. There is more ‘real wine’, or wine we class as organic, biodynamic or natural, in the Old World.

“We had three English producers this year. We have had a couple in the past but there were more first release wines on show this year.”

“We are just trying to make people drink better wines. The Real Wine Month is big now and it spans across 300 outlets, and there are now about 30 or 40 associated events. It is why social media works so well for us; it’s not just about a two-day fair which people go to and then forget about, it’s a whole month of activity, which extends this event.”

Wregg explains that press coverage by wine writers, including Jamie Goode and Olly Smith, has helped raise the profile of real wine. “It really helps put these wines on the map.”

“In Bordeaux there is a move towards bio-dynamic wine,” he explains. “Meanwhile, more people are using indigenous yeasts, and so this is also something we have seen more of this year at the fair.”

‘Real wine’ is a term embracing wines that are made organically, biodynamically and naturally. The Real Wine Fair features more than 140 winemakers from around the world. The Fair now operates on a ‘two years on, one year off’ basis. 

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