Increasing consumer awareness of food and drink additives will drive transparency in the wine trade, believes Isabelle Legeron MW.
Isabelle Legeron MW
As organiser of natural wine fair RAW, Legeron has listed the additives for every wine due to be shown at the London-based event, which can be viewed online, including the total sulphite level in mg/l.
She took the same approach for last year’s inaugural fair, although she admitted that it is “a hell of a lot of work as you have to do a sulphite analysis of every cuvée.”
Describing her motivation for listing such detailed information, she told db last week, “There is a surprisingly low level of knowledge of how wine is made… and personally I like to know the sulphite levels.
“I want to raise awareness of how wine is made and empower people to choose,” she added.
But Legeron also said that there was increasing demand for such information from wine professionals.
“I’m often asked for a list of wines with no added sulphites and wine drinkers generally are becoming more savvy and more interested in what they eat and drink.”
Furthermore, she said that such a development was the early stages of a future, much broader call for transparency when it comes to winemaking.
“What we are doing at RAW is just the beginning, I’m convinced it is part of something bigger – people drinking wine are more interested and want to know more and more,” she said.
Nevertheless, she admitted such specialist knowledge was currently only required by a “particular segment” which she identified as young professionals with a reasonably high disposable income who shop at markets and “think about what coffee they drink”.
RAW is taking place in London’s Old Truman Brewery on 19-20 May and is now in its second year.
Legeron said there were slightly fewer growers exhibiting this year, with numbers down around 40 to total 172 producers, due to the “appalling” vintage last year in France particularly.
“Some in the Loire, Burgundy and Beaujolais had to pull out of this year’s fair because they had no wines to sell,” she said.
Of those who are exhibiting, Legeron noted that the majority were either from France or Italy, and she described both countries as a “hotbed for natural wine growers”.
In terms of visitors, she said that pre-registrations showed an increase in numbers as well as a much greater international contingent.
“We have a lot who are coming from abroad who didn’t last year,” she stated.
The majority of these international visitors are from Northern Europe, above all Denmark, Sweden and Norway according to Legeron.
You can find out more about RAW here.