Some maintain that wine has never been better, cleaner, more consistent, or travelled so well as it does today. Equally, wine has never been made with so many pesticides, additives, preservatives and processes. Most wines, including some Bordeaux crus classés, Champagne Grande Marques and household brands are nowadays no longer made exclusively from grapes. They are products of the agrochemical food industry. The concept of wine's 'poetry', its artistry or romantism, or indeed its exceptionality as a product with a sense of place is becoming rarer.
Wines at RAW are not that. They are natural, artisan products. They come from organic agriculture, as a minimum, but may also be from farms that are biodynamic or use permaculture or perhaps the Fukuoka model. The agricultural practices used are sustainable. What sets the wines apart though from other conventional organic and biodynamic wines, is that they are made naturally in the cellar.
It is difficult to comprehend how rare this is unless you understand where the vast majority of wine is at today. RAW is therefore committed to transparency, as Isabelle Legeron MW says "my aim is to promote transparency in the wine world in order to support the art of authentic wine production. I want to help people think about what they drink. It is not about condemning practices; it is about raising awareness so that people can decide what they drink. At the moment, they can't."
The Charter of Quality:
RAW is about fine, natural wines that are true to where they are from - that have an authenticity of taste that most wines today have lost.
Below is the charter of quality, which we sent to all the artisans interested in attending RAW. It is based on the following principles:
All wines presented at RAW have to meet the following criteria:
- Grapes must be farmed organically and/or biodynamically, whether or not certified.
- The entirety of the domaine from which the grapes are issued must be farmed organically and/or biodynamically.
- Grapes must be hand-harvested.
- No yeasts may be added, except in the case of the second fermentation of sparkling wines, when neutral yeasts may be used. This information will be included in the catalogue.
- No blocked malolactic fermentation.
- No winemaking additives (yeasts, enzymes, vitamins, lysozymes etc) may be used in the cellar except for low levels of sulfites. You will be asked to supply analysis paperwork detailing total levels of sulfites for each wine you are presenting at RAW. These levels will be included in the RAW catalogue and on the RAW website. If you do not add any sulfites whatsoever, the mention “no added sulfites” will appear instead.
** Please note: no sulphite totals may exceed 70 mg/L regardless of colour or style.
- No ‘heavy-manipulation’ has been carried out using winemaking gadgetry such as reverse osmosis, cryo-extraction, spinning cone, and so forth.
- Most of the wines showcased will not have been fined or filtered. If your wine has been fined or filtered, it will be clearly labeled as such.
- Wines in the catalogue and online will be marked as NOT ‘suitable for vegetarians’ and/or ‘suitable for vegans’ when applicable. You will therefore be asked to give us the type of fining agent used which will be mentioned in the RAW catalogue and on the RAW website.