Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

‘Real’ Wine: the tide has turned says natural wine fair co-founder

Published:  15 May, 2019

The co-founder of the Real Wine Fair says the revolution is over, and that new generation of drinkers have got behind natural wine – although the trade’s elite still needs some convincing.

Les Caves de Pyrene's Doug Wregg spoke to Harpers during the sixth edition of the fair which was held at Wapping’s Tobacco Dock at the beginning of the week.

The fair has grown to three times its size since its inception in 2012, with an energetic crowd showing up to taste a range of low intervention, natural, and organic/bio wines.

“It’s not just about natural wine anymore – the move towards untampered, sustainably produced products is endemic to our culture. The knowledge among customers has increased and a whole generation of people are now engaged. I think a few people still get annoyed by the name: the ‘real’ wine fair and our promotion, Real Wine Month. But it’s just a word used to bring together a group of people working in a different way – not making wines in a laboratory.”

The fair was open to consumers and the trade on Sunday, before moving to a trade-only crowd on Monday, with still “not a suit in sight” said Wregg.

A mainly young, London-based crowd tasted their way through wines from a record 175 growers present at the event – 50 of which made their debut.

Coffee, bread, beer, and biltong were also served up as part of a collaboration with a number of restaurants and suppliers.

Support is yet to come from some the big names and faces – critics and journalists were thin on the ground.

But Wregg said he hopes this will change over time, as changing demographics continue to boost natural wine’s profile.

“Somms have changed: they’re younger. The last thing they want is Burgundy and Bordeaux dominating their lists. When we started, that wasn’t the case. Now, I could easily name 30 wine merchants that stock natural wine. It's all about having a specialism these days,” he said.

The first Real Wine Fair Ireland is touching down in Dublin today, 15 May, at The Chocolate Factory, Dublin 1.