Going Natural Wine Club - July 2021
Posted on September 13, 2021
Low Intervention Wines and the Growth of the Underdogs
For this July, I was debating countless options for this blog post. Could we talk about the need for low-intervention wines? Or could we have a casual conversation about the attitude towards this category of wine? The list was endless. But, with the arrival of our newest Kensington Wine Market Exclusive wine, the Grape Republic Dela Fresca, I thought it would be a great month to talk about how Low Intervention wines have allowed small, inconspicuous regions to gain traction.
As you may be aware, the wine world is ‘obsessed’ with a handful of regions. We always hear about Bordeaux, Tuscany, California and Burgundy, to name a few. Even though these regions are fantastic, they do create a shadow on the smaller areas.
Working in wine, it can be interesting to hear some customers surprise when we tell them Greece, Romania or Bulgaria produce wine, some of the oldest wine countries in the world! This is to absolutely no fault of the consumer, in fact, it's to the fault of the wine industry itself. We tend to focus on the wines that will easily grab people's attention, which typically are wines with high points, high demand or from regions people feel familiar with because that’s what sells!
Yet, we are seeing a new demographic moving in and changing things up; Millennials. As a millennial myself, I know the hate my generation gets, and the wine industry is no different because we are shaking things up! With the ever-increasing cost of living and with millennials having more debt than the rest of the population, this generation isn't as interested in buying $100 Bordeaux to age for 20+years. Millennials want to buy wine they can drink! They also think more about where they are spending their money and who benefits from their purchases. Unfortunately, that’s not Bordeaux or Tuscany.
This new generation of wine drinkers have also lived all of their lives with the imminent threat of climate change. This may not be a big deal to some, but when you are raised with the constant ‘force-down-your-throat' approach on climate change politics, it has changed the way this generation operates. They have been told to be more conscious of their purchasing, reduce where they can and recycling is a must! It was only a matter of time until we saw the effect on the wine industry and with the increasing demand of low-intervention wines, we can agree that the millennial influence has arrived!
Millennials are becoming the new driving force behind wine purchasing and production. We have seen young winemakers across the world change into a more low-intervention approach. We are also seeing older producers, who have always taken this approach, grasping their opportunities and marketing themselves towards the new wine-drinking generation. These productions are coming from all over, but we are seeing an increase of productions from regions or countries who have the least influence from the wine-world, the regions or countries the wine world have left behind. But alas, millennials are becoming their newest fans, demanding their wines be brought to the center stage and showcasing how small regions sometimes offer the best value in each bottle!
We can only expect low-intervention wines to continue to evolve, and for more regions to appear on our market. And with that, all I can say is that it’s a pretty exciting time for wine!
The wines for this month:
100% Delaware grape
Tier 2 – Goldilock's Natty Sip – a little bit different, a little bit funky, but a great summer sip!
Japan is one of the newest winemaking countries! Even though they have grown table grapes for centuries, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that wine production was seen in Japan.
Grape republic is a very small produced based in Yamagata, Japan. They produce wines based on Hybrid grapes, like Delaware, Koshu, Steuben and Niagara, to create unique and expressive wines!
This wine is made exclusively from Delaware grown in Nanyo, Yamagata. Some of the grapes were crushed and left on skins for a twelve-hour maceration while the rest was direct pressed into tank. It has about 12g/l of residual sugar, yet it is a crunchy, tart and expressive pet-nat! Expect notes of yuzu and pineapple to fill your palate. Perfect to pair with your favourite sushi order
La Manchuela , Spain
Tier 1 – In-Law Friendly! You wouldn’t even guess this was low-intervention!
AltoLandon is a long-time exclusive at the store. What once started as a little passion project quickly turned into a full-scale production.
Located in the high elevation region of La Manchuela, Spain, AltoLandon uses native and international varietals to create bold and beautiful wines.
The name of this wine is Irrepetible, which translates to "no other like it," or "one of a kind." They have taken two of their best-selling grapes to produce this unique blend that's 50-50 Syrah and Malbec. Charmingly fruity and fresh, and not too oaky. This fruity, yet bold wine is perfect to pair with lamb, steak, beans or even cheese. Vegan friendly!
That is all for July. See you in August for two more low intervention wine selections!
Pip pip, cheerio,