The Real Wine Fair or RAW?

For those of you looking out for the Natural Wine Fair 2012, you’ll be delighted to know that this year there are two simultaneous events instead – The Real Wine Fair, and RAW Natural Wine Fair. They are both open to the public on Sunday May 20th at £20 per head. So assuming you can’t get to both, which should you go to?

Click here to view and buy some of the best natural wines available in the UK from under £10 per bottle.

The Real Wine Fair.

B1 Victoria House, Holburn, London, WC1B 4DA, ( Sunday May 20th,10am – 6pm)

The Real Wine Fair is being organised by a group of importers/wholesalers/retailers led by Les Caves de Pyrene who led the consortium of importers who organised last year’s fair with Isabelle Legeron MW. Isabelle has set up her own independent fair this year called RAW – see below.

There are over 100 growers exhibiting, showing organic, biodynamic and natural wines. There will also be artisan foods available including pastries, cheese and even beers from Camden Town brewery. There are a couple of award winning niche restaurants involved too so you’re bound to find something delicious to eat.

There will be a “pop up” shop on site so you can buy some of the wines to take away if you like. Tickets are available from the website.

RAW Natural Wine Fair

RAW is Isabelle Legeron’s (Master of Wine) vision of the successor to last year’s natural wine fair. She split from last year’s consortium of importers and retailers to focus on independent winemakers (not just the ones imported by the consortium), to give the public a wider spread of wines and producers, and to give independent winemakers the opportunity to display their wines in the UK.

There are now over 200 producers listed for RAW, and most of them have their wines available to buy in the UK already. As there are also around 30 to 40 unrepresented winemakers as well, it’s likely to contain more unique wines made in tiny batches which were not deemed commercially viable by importers. Far more of a display of what can be achieved, wine made for it’s own sake regardless of financial viability as a business.

Like The Real Wine Fair there will be a pop up shop on site to buy the wine from, and also various artisan food stalls. It is being held at the Old Truman Brewery which is itself an area full of independent quality food outlets, famous for it’s fusion of cuisines.

Both fairs are likely to be very good with a roughly equal number of exhibitors and visitors. Both will have broadly similar facilities with great food, wine shop, guest speakers and various other arts and crafts stalls.

If you can only make it to one, which one then?

Well if you favour supporting the independent winemaker then RAW would probably be the best bet. It is more of an independent fair, open to all who wish to display. The venues aren’t too far apart so why not make the effort and go to both?