Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine

The fourth FIVE fair is gathering steam. This year it will be held in Pamplona’s Ciudadela (Fortress Park), a landmark of the Navarre capital, on the 6th and 7th of May. FIVE has become the great meeting point for the peninsula’s organic wines. More than 30 different D.O.s have participated in the three previous fairs and wines have been on show made from native varieties seldom seen on the modern market, as is the case with monastrell, bobal and viognier. The fair has attracted importers from more than 20 countries, among which are to be found the main buyers of this type of wine.

Following on from previous fairs, the aim is to have some 60 participating wineries, so that visitors will have sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the wines on show. FIVE’s hope is that quality will come out, the quality of the products on show. That is the reason why the emphasis of the fair is not on an advertising display by the wineries participating but on testing and getting to know the wines on an equal footing.

After three successful fairs attended by organic viticulturists from Spain, Portugal and France, FIVE has opted to optimise its efforts to energise the the sector. Accordingly, last year it decided to organise the event on a biannual basis, concentrating in the ‘odd’ years on organising other activities aimed at strengthening the presence of organic wine in international fairs and other events related to the sector. Last year, the first virtual fair took place with the participation of 56 Spanish, French and even Italian wineries.

FIVE is organised by AEN – the Association of Organic Agricultural Enterprises of Navarre. This year, as well as the fourth FIVE fair, it is organising an organic wine promotional drive for Prowein in March, Europe’s largest fair for the sector. Organic, biodynamic and natural wines from the south of Europe can participate in the fair and visitors can register without charge. For more information and registration visit our webpage:

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Jenny & François Selections is pleased to announce the 2014 Natural Winemakers’ Week, March 1-6!

Set your tweets to hashtag #nww14!

Natural, Organic, and Biodynamic Winemakers from France, Italy, Spain, and the USA are coming to NYC for a week of wine dinners, classes, and free tastings. Set your tweets to #nww14!


11a-5pm: Astor Center Grand Tasting 399 Lafayette St, 4th St, NYC, (212) 674-7501

Tickets $29 at – this event sells out quickly!


4-7pm: Appellation Wine & Spirits 156 Tenth Ave, NYC (212) 741-9474

Free Tasting

8pm: The Farm on Adderley 1108 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn (718) 287-3101

Winemaker dinner with Christian Binner, Clement Cousin, and Hardy Wallace (Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery).

Featuring a seasonal, hearty meal to compliment the natural wine. $75/person

Reservations required –


10am-5pm: Jenny & Francois Portfolio Tasting 287 Spring Street between Hudson and Varick St

Trade and press only

Please RSVP – call 646-775-6400 or


5-7pm: Fermented Grapes 651 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn (718) 230-3216

Free Tasting

8pm: The Ides Bar – Wythe Hotel 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn (718) 460-8000

Party featuring all the winemakers, wines by the glass.


5-7pm: Chambers Street Wines Tasting 148 Chambers Street, NYC (212) 227-1434

Free Tasting

8pm: Aska Restaurant 90 Wythe Avenue Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718) 388-2969

Winemaker dinner with Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery. $150/person (including tax + gratuity)

Reservations required –

More Events to be announced! Please visit for updates and tastings throughout the city.

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Real Wine Fair

The Real Wine Fair returns to Tobacco Dock for 2014!

“The Real Wine Fair” is a two day wine event celebrating artisan growers who work with minimal intervention in the vineyard and the winery. 150 growers and winemakers will be pouring and presenting their wines to consumers, wine trade professionals and members of the press.

The 2014 event will once again be taking place at London’s historic Tobacco Dock in Wapping, on Sunday 13th & Monday 14th April.

In addition to the extensive range of wines, the Fair will also feature an array of artisan food producers, serving delicious morsels to taste and buy – from handmade cheeses to Italian street food – and the Fair’s very own pop-up natural wine bar “The Unfiltered Dog” will also be back to provide sanctuary and sustenance to weary tasters.

All of the wines on show at the fair will be available to purchase from an on-site shop created specifically for the event. There will also be a series of seminars and master-classes on themes surrounding natural wine, as well as other attractions that will be announced over the coming months.

The first day of the Fair (Sunday 13th April) will be open to consumers and trade with consumer tickets available for £15 in advance or £20 on the door, while the second day (Monday 14th April) will be for trade professionals and press only.

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RAW, the artisan wine fair, is back.

Not once, but twice.

As the behind-the-scenes of the 3rd edition of RAW London picks up steam, we are delighted to announce that this year we’re spreading our wings a little further afield with our first out-of-London fair. May and June will now see growers not only pounding the streets of London but also Vienna. RAW Vienna will coincide with Vievinum, Austria’s bi-annual wine trade event, enabling international trade travelling to the city for the show to explore natural wine as well.

The new dates for your diary are as follows:

RAW London: 18 & 19 May 2014

RAW Vienna: 15 June 2014

A few basics:

RAW London will be back at the Old Truman Brewery, and the venue for RAW Vienna will be announced in January.

As with previous years, we expect over 150 growers to attend RAW London, while RAW Vienna will be a much more intimate affair showcasing the work of around 50 growers. Details will follow in due course.

So, if you are based in central or eastern Europe, there’s no excuse. Come and experience the delights of fine natural wine for yourself. We already have keen tasters travelling in especially from Berlin, Budapest, Bucharest and Transylvania, so we can’t wait to see where else Vienna touches.

Trade and press registrations will open in the new year and tickets will go on sale shortly after. If you are a grower who would like to participate in London and/or Vienna, please get in touch. Alternatively, please visit our website for more information.

We look forward to seeing you at one or the other or both!

Best wishes from all of us at RAW.

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Araujo Estate Wines Acquired by Artémis Group, Owners of Château Latour

Araujo Estate Wines, producer of distinctive wines from the iconic Eisele Vineyard in Napa Valley, has been acquired by France’s Pinault family through its holding the Artémis Group, parent company of Château Latour in Bordeaux, Domaine d’Eugénie in Burgundy and Château Grillet in the Rhône Valley. The purchase includes the 38-acre Biodynamic and organically-farmed Eisele Vineyard, the winery and cave complex in northern Napa Valley, the Araujo Estate brand and existing inventory. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“In 1990 we began a new chapter in our lives when we purchased the Eisele Vineyard, an event that shaped our world through the magical terroir of the vineyard, the extraordinary people who work with us to grow the best grapes and make the best wine that we can each vintage, and the very special friends and colleagues who have continued to loyally support the fruits of our labors,” said Araujo Estate founders, Bart and Daphne Araujo. “The Artémis Group is the perfect buyer of this amazing vineyard we have called home for 23 years. The rich heritage of Château Latour and its other wine properties, combined with the family’s passion for the wine business, absolute commitment to excellence, and extraordinary track record of success, assures that the stewardship of Araujo Estate and the Eisele Vineyard will continue with the best of care and intentions.”

“Araujo Estate and its jewel, the unique Eisele Vineyard, have been producing consistently one of the very best wines of Napa Valley,” said Frédéric Engerer, CEO of Chateau Latour, in a statement. “We would very much like to pay tribute to the exceptional work of Bart and Daphne Araujo, whose pioneering vision, dedication to excellence and attention to detail has built one of the most respected wine estates in the world.”

All North American staff, including the entire winemaking team, will remain with the estate under its new ownership. Bart and Daphne Araujo will stay in residence at Araujo Estate until January 2014 to assist in the transition.

Founded in 1990 by Bart and Daphne Araujo, Araujo Estate is a 162-acre wine property located in northern Napa Valley. Its focus is the 38-acre Biodynamic and organically-farmed Eisele Vineyard, one of the most respected Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Napa Valley, and a winery and cave complex designed and built specifically to vinify Eisele Vineyard grapes.

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The Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County (CRCMC) are gearing up for the ninth annual Pure Mendocino event. The organic, locally sourced dinner will be held Saturday, August 24 at Paul Dolan’s biodynamic Dark Horse Ranch located on Old River Road.

The event features an opening reception with wine tasting and a silent auction at 5:00 p.m., a farm-to-table dinner at 6:00 p.m., and live music from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m. A limited number of pre-sold tickets will also be available for the biodynamic farm tour before the event at 4:00 p.m.

Pure Mendocino is the biggest fundraiser of the year for CRCMC and according to Executive Director Sara O’Donnell, “One hundred percent of all funds raised for the Cancer Resource Centers are used to provide ongoing services at no cost to those facing cancer in Mendocino County.”

Chef Olan Cox of Mendough’s Catering and Wood Fired Catering will lead a team of chefs to prepare this year’s meal, and silent auction items feature vacation rentals (at local B&Bs and in Tahoe), picnics at local wineries, handcrafted furniture, yoga lessons, and more.

After dinner, dance the night away to live music by blues legend Rick Estrin and the Nightcats. Estrin serves up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. The Nightcats include jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer J. Hansen, and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and piano).

CRCMC provides cancer support services to patients and their families free of charge, including help with navigating our complicated medical system, assistance with deciding which treatment is right for each individual, preparing for medical appointments, attending and recording medical appointments, and offering a lending library full of excellent resources. CRCMC also offers support groups. For more information, visit

To date, major sponsors of Pure Mendocino include Frey Vineyards, Dark Horse Farming Company, Fetzer Vineyards, Golden Vineyards, Westport Hotel, Ukiah Valley Medical Center,Savings Bank Of Mendocino County and more. Tickets are $135 each and must be purchased in advance—they’re available online at or at the CRCMC Offices (inland at 590 S. Dora St, Ukiah or on the coast at 45040 Calpella St, Mendocino). For more information call 937-3833 or 467-3828.

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For the second time, the Syndicat des Vignerons Bio d’Aquitaine will be organising a tasting of 100% organic wines at VINEXPO: in Tasting Lounges 1 and 2 at the Palais des Congrès (Convention Centre) on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 June 2013. This professional event brings together 130 French winegrowers and confirms the public’s new-found passion for organic wines. Here is a look at this tasting, unique in France…

Organic wines, naturally at Vinexpo

For two days, 130 organic winegrowers from all over France – Alsace, Bergerac, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, the Rhone Valley, the Loire Valley, etc. – will be presenting a wide range of organic wines.

Two free tasting areas will also make it possible to discover French organic wines whenever you wish: ones that have won medals at the Concours Expression Bio and at themed tastings such as Vieux Millésimes Bio (old vintages) , Rosés Bio, Vins Blancs Secs Bio (dry white wines), Bulles (sparkling wines) & Blancs Bio liquoreux (sweet white wines). This year, the tasting on Tuesday 18 June will end at 7:30 pm to enable professionals to stay longer and discuss with winegrowers.

Organic wines are increasingly successful

For the past several years, organic winegrowing has developed enormously in France: the surface area of organic vines nearly tripled from 2007 to 2011, and now comprises 7.4% of French vineyards. Aquitaine, the third largest producer of French organic wines, is consistent with this trend, with organic vineyards growing some 23 % from 2010 to 2011.

Organic wine production has increased, and demand has as well: 1 French person out of 3 regularly drinks organic wine . In 2011, French sales of organic wines amounted to 359 million euros (+11.5% compared to 2010). At the present time (and mostly for longer then the past 5 years), 74% of gastronomic restaurants sell organic wines, as do 94% of supermarkets. Exports are also buoyant, and organic wines are very much in vogue in Northern Europe, Asia (Japan and South Korea) and North America.

More restrictive regulations make for greater ease in communicating

Organic wines have had to respect more involved specifications since the 1st of August 2012. The making of grapes into wine is now subject to strict regulations. This extension of European legislation makes it easier to promote organic wines instead of relying on the previous description, vin issu de raisins de l’agriculture biologique (i.e. “wine made from organically-grown grapes”).

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From Sedlescombe:

Two and a half years after releasing the first internationally accredited biodynamic white wine to be made in the UK – Sedlescombe, a Sussex based vineyard, has announced the forthcoming release of two more wine styles – The first sparkling and the first red wine to be produced in England to the exacting standards of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association (BDA)

The two new Sedlescombe wines are being introduced by proprietors Roy and Irma Cook, in nine days of free tastings to be held during English Wine Week. (25th May – 2nd June) at their vineyard in ‘1066 Country’, near Battle in East Sussex.

The Sedlescombe 2010 vintage Premier Brut is a sparkling white wine made in the classic Champagne style from 60% Seyval Blanc and 40% Johanniter grapes grown at the home vineyard and at the nearby vineyard at Bodiam Castle managed by the Cooks. A ‘Traditional Method’ secondary fermentation of minimum 18 months is credited in its tasting notes as adding “a toasty flavour” to the wine’s “tangy tropical fruit palate”.

Somewhat unusually, but in keeping with Sedlescombe’s eco-philosophy of ‘minimal packaging’ this fizz does not have a capsule covering the cork and wire hood. Instead, the exposed wire-hood proudly displays the lunar logo associated with the Sedlescombe brand.

The Sedlescombe 2011 vintage Regent is an oak matured red wine made from the high quality Regent grapes gathered in the outstanding harvest of that year from the Sedlescombe Millennium vineyard. The exceptionally high sugar levels achieved in 2011 ensured an adequate natural alcohol level of 11.74%, making *chapitalization unnecessary (*the standard practice of adding sugar to grape juice in northern climatic zones), while 7 month maturation in French barique oak barrels has produced a smoky full bodied wine of notable complexity.

Both wines have achieved independent ‘Quality’ designations administered by Wine Standards and are uniquely (for the UK) marked with the Demeter symbol to signify their adherence to the international standard set by the BDA.

Co-proprietor and wine maker Roy Cook is quoted as saying “I have no doubt that my decision to upgrade from organic to full biodynamic status in 2010 has added an extra quality to our wines and helped to define their unique ‘terroir’. We have been making sparkling wines since 1990, with very good results – but I am confident that the 2011 Brut is our best sparkler ever. The 2011 Regent is in my opinion as good as, and potentially even better than our award winning 2003 vintage.

Roy Cook continued “I am entering both wines into two competitions: the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) Wine of the Year competition, and the International Organic Wine Awards to be held in Germany in early June. I know we shouldn’t count our chickens, but do believe these remarkable wines are worthy of independent recognition; we’ll see!”

Founded in 1979 by Roy and Irma Cook, with Soil Association certification gained in 1982, Sedlescombe Vineyard is England’s oldest and largest organic wine producer. In 2010 Sedlescombe moved to “premium organic” status by becoming the first vineyard in the UK to gain biodynamic certification. The vineyard has performed well over the years, consistently producing wines that gain top EU “Quality” appellations and year by year winning a host of awards including a first for its dry white.

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