('RAW' by Martine Buchet)
As we close our Spitalfield doors to the thousands of lovely people curious enough to explore the astounding world of fine, natural wine, we would like to thank all of you involved, for helping make RAW such a phenomenal two days.
Rather than wax lyrical about how wonderful it was, we thought we’d share a few of the totally spontaneous messages that greeted us in our inboxes once we got back to the office. We were sincerely touched. Thank you.
"After a little reflection on RAW.... WOW! At one point on Sunday I looked up and just saw what seemed like 1000 people immersing themselves in RAW wines. The buzz was electric. I really think it was a rampaging success" (Greg, Director, D Vine Wine)
"The RAW fair has been the highest professional and enjoyable experience of my work life." (Stefano Milani, Director, Selezione Zanotto)
"Thank you for putting on such a great tasting. ... At a time when many tastings appear to be becoming blander than ever, it was lovely to attend such an interesting gathering. As I said to my friend, it was exactly how everyone wishes the wine trade could be like all of the time." (Fionnuala Synnott, Assistant Head Sommelier, Pollen Street Social, London)
“Massive Bravo! for putting on one of the best wine fairs I’ve ever been to. A real game changer - the space - cool and bright and big, the food - classy and coffee delicious, and the wines, well, I always knew they'd be top $.” (Emily O’Hare, Wine Buyer, The River Café, London)
"An incredibly successful event, with universally positive feedback from what I could tell...A pleasure and a privilege to be involved" (Jeremy Lee, Wine Shop Manager, Harvey Nichols)
"May I congratulate all concerned for organising surely one of the most stimulating events of the last ten years in the wine trade. Hope Raw goes from strength to strength." (Matthew Boucher, Manager, Cambridge Wine Merchants (Mill Road branch))
"RAW was very alive! Thanks again for helping to bring us all together." (Moritz Rogosky, Podere Il Carnasciale, Wine Artisan, Tuscany)
“I’ve been trying to come up with something to complain about but everything was perfecto ☺. The location was great - nice and central. And inside too, there was lots of space, high ceilings, natural light coming in, white walls and I liked the 19th C look of the place ... The food section was great. Nice coffee. Awesome oysters! The smoker’s patio was very handy and I did a lot of networking there!!! I met lots and lots of people and tasted lots and lots of wines. And I think I’ve found the importers I was looking for. Not only for the UK, but for Canada and Norway too, as an added bonus ☺ I can’t believe it’s over!” (Fabio Bartolomei, Vinos Ambiz, Wine Artisan, Madrid)
"Please can you have the exact same lineup next year? It was PERFECT!...Let me know asap when your dates are. I will not miss this in 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (Diane Maycotte, Designer, Mexico)
So yes, we were pretty blown away by the result. RAW was definitely greater than the sum of its parts. We provided the structure, the growers the focus but it is entirely thanks to all of you who came along to taste and have fun that the two days were such a success. So thank you, thank you, thank you for joining in.
And stay in touch, we are busy sorting out dates for RAW 2013 so we will be in touch again soon.
Preparations are underway…
Warmest wishes to all,
Isabelle & the RAW team
('RAW at heart' by Martine Buchet)
RAW by numbers
For those of you who are interested in those sorts of things, here is a breakdown of who joined in:
We had over 3000 visits to RAW over the two days, including…
- Several hundred growers and their vineyard representatives showing the wines of 206 vineyards;
- Nearly 1000 visits by consumers - wine amateurs, drinkers or whatever label you’d like to give them. People, like you and me, who were curious to taste and explore;
- 1900 visits by trade individuals, including sommeliers, restaurant owners, wine buyers, importers, etc etc etc. (So fingers crossed that RAW artisans will see their wines filter through to wine lists all over the country…);
- Over 200 visits by press individuals from around the world;
- The above included people from all over the world – Sweden, Canada, Japan… even Mexico and Brazil, some of whom even came to London specifically for RAW!
If you attended RAW and have any feedback that you would like to share, you can post comments directly below this blog post.
('Happy People at RAW' by Nina Kobalia)
A giant thank you to all our partners who helped make this first edition of RAW such an incredible success. We are extremely grateful and thought we’d mention a few here, since we genuinely love who they are, what they do and what they stand for.
First up, the brilliant, inspirational artisans who took part in RAW and the wine producer associations that supported them and us - in particular Renaissance des Appellations (like the new website by the way!) and VinNatur, as well as the Association des Vins Naturels, Simbiosa and the Association Qvevri Wine.
Georgia! More specifically, the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Tourism and the British Georgian Chamber of Commerce without whose support all our tiny, Georgian artisan producers would never have been able to make it to London last weekend.
Sud de France, the umbrella brand that shouts about food and wine products from the sunny, southern French Languedoc-Roussillon. They are running a sommelier competition (being chaired by our Isabelle so it will definitely be fun!) so if you're a sommelier get your skates on and show everyone what you're made of by registering here. Prizes to be won...
Chef & Sommelier produce innovative anti-smash, kwarx glasses that we used at the fair and that those amongst you who bought tickets got to take home with you. You can literally drop on the floor and they stay intact (most of the time at least, and yes, we have tried). And yes, that is our Isabelle on their homepage – she’s very proud to be their international brand ambassador!
Belu is a pioneering social enterprise that produces the UK’s most ethical water brand. Their natural mineral water is the country’s first 100% carbon neutral bottled water and it’s the first one to be given Supplier Approval by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. All their profits are donated to WaterAid. If you would like to know why Belu is the best environmental choice when it comes to bottled water, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rude Health is a small company that makes cereals and palate cleansers (available on each artisan table at RAW) to, in their words, ‘change the nation's eating habits, revolutionise farming and look sexy while line dancing'. No over-processing of ingredients, no-added salt, refined sugars or fortifications, and no GM products.
And last, but certainly not least, the merchants, wine shops and generally wonderful people whose help was invaluable. We can recommend them all as great pit stops for great wine:
('Busy at RAW' by Martine Buchet)