Natural Wines, Raw Wine and New York

“If the rise of the natural movement has been of any use, it has been to raise awareness of man’s intervention in winemaking.” Josep Pitu Roca.

Natural wine has changed the landscape.

A lot has been said recently about the rise of the natural wine movement.

Natural wines have existed since time immemorial. In fact, the first wines to be made, some 8,000 years ago in Georgia, were not made with yeasts, or additives or modern-day processes.

Natural wines are wines that are made in such a way that any type of intervention in the winegrowing and winemaking process is kept to an absolute minimum. It is a case of accompanying the wine on its journey which inevitably results in a faithful reflection of the land where it was born.

The current tendency of natural wines is, however, relatively new. It’s a trend that we have all been part of creating, there is no one person it can be attributed to, but rather it is the rise of the passion and awareness of winemakers and enthusiasts alike, who have begun to discover them and fall in love with them.

In keeping with our passion for constant innovation, it was three years ago now that Pepe Raventòs began creating wine without sulphites, in the garage of his home. So, over several years of transition between New York and Sant Sadurní, and while work was being carried out on the old Mas, or country house which was to become his home, he began to experiment with making the purest wines possible. He wanted to restore the Mas and create authentic and experimental wines.

So, his most “garagiste” version encouraged him to make wine without sulphites as a way of working and understanding life. The garage, a small, clean and exclusive space, with air free from yeasts from the second fermentation, is where he experimented with amphoras, cement and brisados (skin-contact wine), and where he makes the wines that he loves the most.

Our passion for winemaking has led us to select native varieties of grape from unique and different soils which give these wines the breadth and complexity that we are looking for.

The aim is clear: to produce authentic, very balanced wines; allowing the terroir to fully express its intrinsic nature.

There can be no greater letter of introduction than presenting his second vintage at the natural wine fair, Raw Wine, which is exactly what we did on 5 and 6 November in the heart of Brooklyn. No doubt they will cause quite a stir.

The collection is made up of: a 100% Xarel·lo; a 100% Xarel·lo Ancestral, made according to the ancestral method; and a 100% Bastard Negre. All of them are unfiltered natural wines without sulphites or other additives.

The Raw Wine Fair was created by Isabelle Legeron, known as “That crazy French woman”, the only French woman with the title of Master of Wine and one of the most significant, recognised and most heard voices in the world of natural wine. She is also the author of the book Natural Wine: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally.

For two frenetic days, we mixed with the most heterogeneous and select group of over 140 small winemakers from all over the world.

Fortunately, we met and got to know each other on the first day at the Opening Party held at the Ten Bells restaurant in the middle of Lower Manhattan, a magical and must-see starting point if you are ever in this area.

If there is a single city that has become an authentic pole of attraction for natural wines in recent years it is, without a shadow of a doubt, New York. For Pepe, coming back here is synonymous with coming home. As well as fairs, wines and wine tastings, we could not miss the opportunity of enjoying New York’s gastronomy and visiting some of the restaurants where, to date, we can find the best wine lists of natural wines in the world.

Sharing resources and choosing from all there is to do and see in the city, we found ourselves at the Racines restaurant, located next to the New York City Hall at 94 Chambers Street, in Tribeca, Manhattan. It is famous for having unusual winemakers and the owner, Eben Lillie, who recently visited us, has been a key enthusiast of natural wine in the skyscraper city. If you ever visit, say ‘Hi’ from us!

If you are amongst those who love cosmopolitan and hipster atmospheres, go to 138 Orchard Street and discover the Contra restaurant, where you will be fascinated by the design and decor. The food on offer is a clear reflection of the city’s contemporary cuisine with interesting ingredients, both local and in season.

We drifted down Houston Street and found ourselves at Estela, a mandatory visit for the nightlife scene. They serve cocktails until the early hours. The personal touch of Ignacio Matto’s tapas, the local chef, makes you feel right at home.

We will be back soon, New York!

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