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Natural wine fair RAW Wine expands to Los Angeles

Natural and artisan wine show RAW Wine is expanding to the West Coast with a new show in Los Angeles on the back of strong demand from West Coast importers, distributors and growers.

RAW Wine organiser Isabelle Legeron MW says there is growing demand for natural wine in the US market

The new LA show will be held the weekend after the second New York show, on 12 -13 November, at wellness centre, juice bar and veggie restaurant The Springs in the downtown arts district of the city.

The expansion comes off the back of the success of the first NYC show, which will return for its second year on 5 & 6 November, at 99 Scott in Brooklyn, the organisers said.

Organiser Isabelle Legeron MW has previously spoken of the “huge” and untapped US market for natural wine that was been gathering pace in recent years. It was, she said centred around the East and West Coast, with a particular focus in restaurants, bars and casual dining scene in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York along with growing interest from the trade in Boston and Chicago – which made the new LA show a “natural” next step.

The scene just “keeps on growing”, a RAW Wine spokesman said, not only with more bars, restaurants and casual dining restaurants opening throughout the US with an interest in low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wines, but also more drinkers taking an interest in how wine is made.”

“The first NYC event back in November was more successful than we could have hoped for. We had a massive level of support and interest both from the trade and general public, and we sold out all our tickets (both public and trade) well in advance of the day itself.”

“One of the things that made the whole thing work so well was that the whole community got involved – there were dozens of mini off-events at restaurants and bars throughout the city who hosted winemaker dinners and by the glass selections featuring growers from the fair so that growers made the most of their trip and we were able to publicise what the on-trade in NYC was all about as well. The whole thing took on a life of its own and had a really lovely energy about it.”

Visitors attended from all over the US and Canada, she added, with many importers, distributors and growers from the West Coast expressing interest in a local event “to help galvanise interest and enthusiasm in low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wines”.

“LA was an obvious choice – it is such a dynamic, vibrant city. Isabelle is just back from a trip out there and everyone has been so supportive that the upcoming edition looks really promising.”

The trade show was established in London in 2012, with a show in Vienna in 2014, and the annual Berlin fair being set up in 2015 to cater for an increasingly international clientele. However, after seeing an increase in the number of buyers from the US, Legeron decided to take  the show to New York in November 2016.

RAW Wine London is set to take place on 11-12 March 2018, followed by RAW Wine Berlin in its new summer slot on 13-14 May.

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