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Real Wine and Real People!

Real Wine is Real People - By Dave Weale

As Real Wine Month approaches, I found myself writing draft blogs that all harped on about, well, real wine. That seems fairly natural, I hear you say, but that wasn’t really the direction I wanted to go down. This is not because I don’t thoroughly enjoy harping on about all things natural, and the benefits of low sulphur in wine - just pop into the shop and ask me and I’ll be more than happy to harp - but it struck me that Real Wine Month is about more than just what’s in the bottle.

Firstly, I should probably explain what Real Wine Month is. Throughout the month of April, real wine nuts like us will be celebrating the world of natural wines, with promotions, dedicated tastings and plenty of opportunity to find out more. This is because April is where you’ll find the biggest, most exciting event in the calendar: the Real Wine Fair, which runs on the 17th and 18th of April down in London. There, under one roof,  some of the world’s best producers of natural wines will be gathered to preach to the masses and sample out their wares. I am tasked with the arduous job of drinking my way around the fair to bring some exhilarating new products back to Yorkshire. Needless to say, I’m quite excited.

The most wonderful thing about this event, is that I’ll actually get to meet some of the people behind the wines I’ve been selling: names that I’ve seen on bottles every day for the past 8 months. One of the most interesting things about this job is learning about the women and men who devote their lives to creating a product that is exciting and authentic. One of my favourite stories is that of Frédéric Porro behind Mas des Agrunelles, who was unable to fulfil his dream of becoming a Motocross rider after an accident and so after a small nudge from his sister, turned to wine making to stop him spiralling into depression. If anybody tells me wine is bad for your health, I just tell them that story!
After all, real wine is as much about people as it is anything else. It’s about real connection between us as humans and the wondrous gift of wine from mother nature herself. It’s about knowing that the bottle you’ve bought is supporting artisan producers who care not only about their product, but also the land that they work with. The Real Wine Fair is about more than just celebrating amazing wine, it’s about bringing together all of those elements in a place where everyone can learn, taste, meet and have a little fun.

As aforementioned, we’ll be running a promotion on some of our favourite natural wines throughout April, both in store and online, so we’d like to invite you to use the opportunity to try something new, to taste with an open mind and an open heart. We are always keen to talk to people about natural wine, and about the people who make them, so pop in and have a chat to us, or drop us a line.

For more information, see

Old Chenin Vines and Craig Hawkins! Old Chenin Vines and Craig Hawkins!

I’ve also provided a link to an interview with Testalonga’s Craig Hawkins, one of South Africa’s most interesting wine makers.