The „Real wine Fair“, which is being organized by Les Caves de Pyrene, one of the leading London-based wine importers of natural wine and supplier for many restaurants and bars, will take place at the same time as RAW, however with the support of six other British wine suppliers (we reported "The astounding world of fine, natural wine").
Last year in London, Les Caves and the French wine professional and Master of Wine, Isabelle Legeron, still organized their very first natural wine fair with about 150 exhibitors. That year, particular focus was on promoting small and unknown producers, who are active in ecological and biological viticulture. While both of them now claim that two fairs would be a lot better than just one, this news has caused quite a turmoil of rumors.
Doug Wregg at Les Caves de Pyrene denies any accusations from bloggers and magazines. He also defended his organization from Andrew Jefford from the Decanter, who said that some producers from the natural wine scene "abuse the ideals of natural wine". Wreg claims it were exactly the other way around". "There are a lot of examples of how bio vintners are denigrated", Wregg says. "One of them is that there is consensus among our bio vintners only to use sulfur dioxide if absolutely necessary. This issue is not just known among the wine scene but also actively discussed by EU officials. If you ask me, this is done behind our backs".
Michel Chapoutier, an advocate of bio wines, is attacking Doug Wregg by describing his comment "Bio vintners defend their wine production like hippies" as "slightly hysterical". "Chapoutier is part of the platform of the French biodynamic group La Renaissance des Appellations. How can he act as an advocate for something that he actively degrades?".
All things aside, Doug Wregg and Isabelle Legeron agree that it is disappointing that these two wine fairs, which have the exact same agenda by the way, will be taking place separately. "We decided to split up because we could not agree on how to promote our vintners", explains Isabelle Legeron. "If it were up to me, I would have organized this fair for the producers, while Les Caves was more focused on trade and importers. Well, it's not ideal, if we host the fairs on the same weekend. However, I believe that it will at least bring us a lot more traffic and maybe this way we will be able to double the communication out there".
Doug Wregg states: "Of course we don't want to go our separate ways, but I do see a lot of advantages. It will be a lot better to have two wine fairs with 150 producers each than one with 300 producers - this is simply much better in terms of straightforwardness. We still have exactly the same motive of course. Isabelle and I agree that it is ultimately about the producers and not about us organizers. If I did not have to take care of organizing this fair, you would definitely find me at RAW. Ultimately, I am sure that both fairs will be a success". (red.yoopress)