Simon Woolf’s Kickstarter Project: Amber Revolution – how the world learned to love orange wine









I can date the beginning of my friendship with Simon Woolf to October 15th, 2011.

We were part of a small group of wine bloggers making a visit to Carso, a tiny and obscure wine appellation at the very top of Italy facing the Adriatic.

An impossibly unique place, wind whipped from every direction, literally a land without top soil, stretching for a short distance from Carso in Italy into Slovenia where it is called Kras.

It is there that Simon and I experienced for the first time what he terms amber wine in his forthcoming book. Literally white wine made like red wine where the grapes are fermented on their skins creating a wine distinct and complex, ancient in lineage but out of the market norm for generations.

And serendipitously, where inspiration for his book Amber Revolution originated.

It was in Sandi Skerk’s cellar in Carso on that day precisely where this happened.

I can’t remember whether we barrel sampled the already blended Ograde (Sandi’s opus to skin macerated white wines) or just the Vitovska, one of the four grapes in the mix. But I do remember holding up this white wine, deeply amber in hue, rich and mineral in taste and having that wondrous aha when something completely unexpected feels exciting and just right.

I remember Sandi talking to us about this new-to-me thing of skin-macerated whites that tasted so interesting, so full of mouth and rich with flavor. So much of that rock and mineral-laden place, yet suspended with such finesse and balance.

I’ve blogged on Sandi’s wines and Ograde incessantly over the years.

Simon’s obsession went broader, kicking off a four-year exploration of this winemaking technique that has in the meantime become a market force as natural winemakers everywhere experiment making white and field blend wines with this new/ancient tool in hand.

Simon and I stayed connected.

We traveled to Etna and fell under the influence of the volcano, Salvo Foti and later Frank Cornelissen. Then to Marsala where we discovered skin-macerated naturally-made Grillo as we washed down freshly caught sea urchins with our group seaside in a salt marsh on the outskirts of the city .

We are guys from different backgrounds. He as thoroughly British as I am a New Yorker.

Both of us are tech professionals and truly obsessive lovers of cats. But our common bond is shared inspiration around wine as something that is part of a greater movement towards a cultural ethos of taste in life.

We have bantered incessantly (and argued a fair bit) over the language to describe this and the role of natural wine in the market, but it is our jointly held belief in the power of wine to connect people to each other that makes this friendship lasting.

I’m pleased to introduce Simon and his Kickstarter project, The Amber Revolution to my networks here in NY and across the country. And to the many in my tech community who have honored me with providing some guidance through this natural approach to winemaking.

I’d like to encourage my community to view his video on the Kickstarter page, check out his site if you want to see his writing, and give some thought to supporting this project.

Simon is a prodigious taster, damn good writer, genuinely good guy, and seriously impassioned about this topic.

Please do consider helping to get this book written.

When I coerce Simon to come over with the finished book next year, join me in NY as we raise a glass of amber wine and applaud an idea that someone made happen because it was important to get it made and out in the world.

It’s cool that Simon and I met where this all started for him.

Very cool that I get to do this intro of him to my world where he is not as yet known very well.

Take a look at the project. I encourage you to support it.

People following their passions is the really good stuff of life and exactly why Kickstarter exists to help them do so.


My infatuation with natural field blend wines








This is the origin picture of my love affair with natural field blends.

Taken years ago, in Salvo Foti’s high-elevation Vigna del Bosco vineyard on Mt.Etna.

I was lying in the vegetation amongst the vines in this tiny plot with my friends Wink Lorch and Brett Jones, soaking in the afternoon Sicilian sun, watching the smoke wafting out of the top of the volcano above us.

And talking about biodiversity.

It is one thing to know intellectually that a field blend wine is made from one place with indigenous grapes, red and white together, that is grown, harvested and vinified together.

Quite another to be lying amongst this natural jumble of vines (in this case Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Alicante, Carricante, Visparola,Minnella, and Grecanico), surrounded by groves of Sicilian Oaks, Chestnut and Juniper trees in this tucked away hillside on Mt. Etna feeling it moist and cool against your skin.

A melting pot where the diversity of the vineyard becomes the structure of the taste in a bottle. In this instance, a 2010 Vinudilice harvested from underfoot where we lay and chatted.

I just got it and never let go since.

Natural wine makers do of course blend wine, pick some varieties earlier or later. Field blends are different though as there is a haphazard choice of what to plant, then a natural selection over time of what survives.

Neither better or worse, but special. As a vineyard ecosystem potentially the truest to what a place tastes like.

We train our palates to taste when a wine is made in a natural way. There is invariably a vivacious exuberance to the structure.

We can certainly learn to identify the experience of certain grapes like Cab Franc or Vitovska and in many cases where it is from and who made it.

And for specific approaches to wine making like skin fermented whites, you can easily see, smell and taste the skin in the wine.

But with a field blend it’s different.

I don’t know if I can taste it clearly though it works as a way to communicate what we are drinking where it is beyond varietal and emblematic of place in a specific way.

Truth is that no website or shop I know of categorizes its inventory by field blend but they are there if you ask.

Just last week I strolled into Chambers Street Wines and challenged my friend Ariana Rolich to pull the most interesting, most natural field blends from the shelves.

She outdid herself with these three below:

Celler La Salada 2016 Penedes Roig Boig

I had two bottles, a still and a Pet Nat from the same organically farmed, field blend vineyard. No added SO2 in either.

Winemaker Toni Carbo makes his Roig Boigs in Penedes, heart of Cava country in Spain from broad medley of  Catalon varieties, red and white (Sumoll, Roigenc, Mandó, Cannonnau, Monica, Torbat, Parellada and Xarello).

What’s fascinating is that each bottle is unique from each other though harvested together from the same vineyard.  The still Roig Boig (meaning Crazy Red in Catalon) has a longer maceration on the skins for part of the blend that could be the key to why.

So quaffable, lively, satisfying with a telling saltiness that sits well with the berries of the taste.

I’ve drunk Cavas from that area for decades and these speak to something else completely.

Crazy Reds indeed!

Salinia Sun Hawk Farms 2013

What a find!

This is a project of winemaker Kevin Kelly in Mendocino from a Biodynamically farmed field blend vineyard with at least ten varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc and Muscat Blanc). A small plot surrounded by Olive groves, lavender fields and California Oak.

This bottle is intense on the palate, smooth on the edges with some spice and really bright acidity. No sulfur added

Great natural juice.

Wine is all about the joy of discovery and the excitement of finding new ways to communicate what makes this social experience so special.

This category of field blends is a way in to this very end.

Most field blends are naturally made. Most are the handiwork of people embracing a biodiverse approach to farming. All are by definition an attempt to discover the taste of place.

Some places like Austria with their tradition of Gemischter Satz have embraced this for generations. I’m sure there are others.

The bottles above are well worth a try.

You might also do what I did, and ask your local shop or somm for the most interesting natural field blends they have on the shelves, then share what you find.

And if you can point me to other areas or winemakers who embrace this approach as a focus, please do share the info.

Field blends are joyous, delicious, thoughtful and a bit ambiguous.

Perfect actually as a way to get to know a bit more and enjoy wine in a new way.



Original post on my trip to Etna is here.

Ancient post where I discovered my first field blend in Austria while at an EWBC conference and tasted a Buchertberg White from the crazy talented Gottfried Lamprecht of the Herrenhof Vineyards from the Styria region of Austria is here.

Celebrating a changing natural wine market

I learned early in my career never to underestimate the power of a niche segment to transform the broader marketplace.

And never to forget that the influence of a segment, like organic food and beverages, is not in it’s percentage of the market size but the overall economic value.

This has already happened with the natural revolutions in food, body and beauty products, handcrafts, self-help, apparel, wellness and fitness, and is just starting to be the reality for natural and artisanal wine.

Pundits invariably point to the natural segment as an anomaly, interesting but too small to be indicative of a larger change.

They are missing the mark like many a VC plotting out your company’s potential on a spreadsheet without understanding the behavior and motivations of your customers.

There are few solid numbers on the natural segment but even if we guess at .5-.75% of the $60-70B US wine market, this is a niche of significant economic and defining force for the market. And the broader industry.

The times have been changing here.

A dozen, even less years ago, we consumed natural wine in a very different world. In a market defined by considerably less supply of quality product and demand we the enthusiast community for the most part drove.

The market was a textbook case of community commerce. We knew most of the players and supported winemakers like we support causes we believe in.

When Frank Cornelissen came to town it was a damn celebration that included Frank, my friend Zev Rovine of Rovine Selections (who imports him into NY), a handful of shops that catered to the likes of me. A community gathering.

Everyone at the dinner table talked about the Jura, Carso and Skerk, what was going on in Ribiera Sacra or the Canaries, and used first names for the early California natural wine pioneers.

In effect, this was a small network, melding the entire supply chain into one transparent community.

For the most part self-supporting with a trust bond up and down the chain based on transparency of disclosure about the wine being sold. We knew everyone and relied on our retailers not certifications to be the arbiters of fair trade for us.

The base is still here but the availability of quality natural wine continues to get larger and more diverse, putting us square in the middle of a renaissance of innovation and expansion.

It begs the question of who is buying this wine? Who is the new consumer?

Is the enthusiast community growing to gobble up the supply? Are the new consumers in Los Angeles, just like you but living somewhere else?

I don’t think so.

The percentage of geeks like myself remains the same but the people searching out this wine are new consumers from adjacent markets like the wellness, the millennials and the farm to table segments.

And we are at the very early tip of this explosion.

Cases in point:

I did a natural wine tasting event for 350 crypto geeks a while back. It was a revelation. The vast majority of people were smart, completely ignorant of how wine is made but serious natural foodies and many micro beer and spirit aficionados. Traditional cross over niche market phenomenon.

At Esther’s in LA for a meeting and caught the end of a natural Pet-Nat tasting. Great selection by young Somm from Brentwood who was new to the passion but smart, enthusiastic and really excited when I pointed out that Raw was coming to town in the Fall.

Welcome to the future!

It is different because it is more multifaceted. It is broader and mostly untapped. This population is not reading The Pour. Have no idea who Jancis Robinson or Robert Parker are. They might surely love my good friend Wink Lorch, but they have no idea who she is.

They are getting their info from Vogue, wellness newsletters and word of mouth.

They were brought up on the maker revolution with their own heroes. They are interested in wine for the fun of it and the connection to something new in life.

Will they fall in love with our friends from Dirty & Rowdy? Show up to have Joe Swick pour after midnight for them at 10 Bells?  Come to see Chad Stock from Minimus as the liquid poet of this generation?

I think so.

They are looking to find shops they can trust, bloggers that speak to them in their language and newsletters that connect where to go, what to buy and how to get into the community of this world.

Friends of mine in a Facebook thread a while back skewered an article about natural wine written in Vogue. They lambasted it for errors and grammar. I loved it actually and saw it as a new generation of enthusiasts embracing this thing called natural wine that makes life more interesting in their own vernacular.

As I suggested in the Facebook thread, they simply need to get over themselves.

The world is changing dramatically in every way.

Platforms for transportation, for currencies, for food supplies, for consumer-accessible neutragenomics. Not to mention our social nets and communications channels are going to change more in the next ten years then they did in the last.

It’s happening already with the crazy innovation and increasing supply of natural wine making it to my glass.  I’m thrilled that natural with all of its powerful vagueness and magic to connect people is at the center of it.

Change is good. This one especially so for everyone from consumer to producer.


Talking naturally about wine







I love the natural wine world.

A community of people who make my life a lot more interesting wherever in the world I happen to be.

We all speak the same language. Of grape and place, romance and taste, and liquid memory that ties it all together.

The truth is that we speak a language that very few others do.

The gap is not between the natural wine world and the mass market. It is between this truly minuscule group of trade and enthusiasts and everyone else. With ‘everyone else’ being many of the very people who are buying and drinking these wines themselves.

My buddy William and I staged an event to try something a bit different.

A pre-event party to a cryptocurrency conference he was hosting, themed as a Natural Wine gathering.

350 individuals from all over the world, aged 20s to their 60s, 60/40 male/female. Highly educated, deeply articulate, wine loving, entrepreneurs, and investors.

We structured this with me as the crossover tech and wine speaker.

100 bottles, curated cross 9 highly natural choices, most with no added SO2 with a variety of styles.( See post here.)

Framed around the overall back story of how two niche movements—crytocurrency and natural wine run parallel to each other in some areas.

A lot of fun with a twist of inspiration and education.

Our approach:

-Invite only with a focus on the theme and the speaker. (It was oversold and people being turned away at the door.)

-Simple backstory blog post with an intro to natural wine, the reasons why the niches melded and a short story each of the bottles.

Simple structure:

-I worked the room hard for an hour or so, talking to over a hundred people in groups of 5-10. Introing myself, having the wait staff bring bottles I chose, filling glasses and telling stories of the bottles around the theme.

-Then a 30-minute talk to the group of 350 (with unplanned horrid audio).

The topics we focused on:

-Getting the terms down as most people have no idea that organic in wine is different from than organic in a red pepper. Nor in reality what wine is. Snapshot definitions of what Organic, BioD, SO2 and sulfites are.

-Natural wine is not a cert, but a platform of shared beliefs that encourages creativity. To a person, this was understood, as that is the very core of open source as a community commerce structure within and without of the crypto world.

-This movement is a response to technology (industrialized farming) and made possible by technology (social web). In effect, natural wine is part of the marker revolution (ala Etsy) at its very core, giving economics to unscalable arts and craftspeople and farmers.

-This is all about community, a new scale of value, and fun.

Specific communications goals:

I wanted each and every person to look at the bottle I was pouring from and realize that it was from somewhere—Portland or Ribeira Sacra or the mountains outside Madrid.

That it’s just fermented juice made by individuals, like them, with a passion, with intent for them to enjoy it. That it is delicious and unique and back to the future with a twist, with similarities to the world they were creating with crypto.

-That it is a niche, like theirs a long time coming (20+ years for natural wine btw) yet highly influential and an inclusive community. Unlike theirs, completely unscalable by nature.

My evaluation:

It felt like a success quantified by the excitement in the room, that 100 bottles of wine disappeared into a crowd of 350 in less than two hours.

By a slew of personal emails to me asking questions, thanking us. People got different parts of it, with many commenting on my explanation of why the skin contact whites I choose tasted different yet familiar to them.

Many online Thank You’s and that in blog after blog our theme, was repeated as the start of the conference.

Maybe we were lucky and hit the balance between inspiring folks and educating them.

Maybe some tiny percent of attendees will now maybe go to wine dinners and structured tastings. Maybe a larger percent will buy more of these great producers. And find some language that is natural to them to express why they like what is in their glass.

If so, we all win.

Us in the community and every person who enjoys a bottle and maybe finds a connection to what they do and who they are.

That’s what makes natural wine so special.


Big thanks to William and the team at Chambers Street Wines, especially Ariana and Eben.


Token Summit–Natural Wine Event (Backstories on the wines)









Wine is about people and place, taste and celebration, and the stories that bubble up over a glass with friends.

Natural wine is uniquely about innovation and individuality. About the freedom that comes within the constraints of a platform of belief.

Not that different from the blockchain community in that respect and tech in general.

For those who like a backstory along with their wine, I’ve jotted notes each of the bottles we will be pouring– from France, Italy, Spain, The Canary Islands, Santa Barbara, and Portland, Oregon.

Big thanks to my buddy William Mougayar for organizing this. And to Ariana RolichEben Lille, Andy and the rest of the team at Chambers Street Wine for inspiring us to curate such an incredible selection.

Hope to see you there!

(This is a sold out event for Summit attendees. We are out of space and will contact you if there are cancellations.)

Nine Vignettes of Taste and Place

 Costadila Bianco Dei Colli Trevigiani Prosecco

Delicious and disruptive are not what you imagine when you think of mass-produced Proseccos from the Veneto in N.E. Italy near Venice.

Enter Ernesto Cattel and his Ag.Costadila polyculture project for natural wines.

Surrounded by industrial farms making exceedingly meh wines, Ernesto is a visionary agronomist changing what is in your glass through what is alive and healthy in the soil.

He started reenergizing the land in 2006 and producing small handcrafted—and quite amazing—sparkling Proseccos. Changing not only how the grapes are grown, how fermentation is handled but the grapes within Prosecco itself, adding lesser used Bianchietta and Verdiso to the mainstay Glera grape, making his wines brighter, livelier and just more joyous.

Honestly, his wines are a bit of a revelation to drink–a tingling freshness in the mouth, wafting pear and apple aromas and a crazy long finish.

For the wine geeks, the cloudiness of the bottle comes from the dry lees, as the wine is unfined and unfiltered. We simply shake the bottle gently a bit before uncorking to distribute them more evenly.

Ernesto uses only organic fruit and not a drop of sulfur added to the vineyard or the bottles.

This bottle is to me a triumph of taste, of an agricultural idea proven true and of the possibility of what Prosecco as a natural wine could really be.

Jousset, Lise et Bertrand 2015 Montlouis-sur-Loire Bubulles Pet Nat

A natural Pet Nat from the Loire Valley in France.

Some call Pétillant-Natural Farmers Champagne, but as my friend, Sophie Barrett says, Champagne may be akin to love, but Pet Nat is pure flirtatiousness, joyful in its own right.

I’m excited to share Pet Nat done so well, and introduce the artistry of the winemakers, Lise and Bertrand. To those that know them, they attest that their vivaciousness and openness as individuals, their love for Chenin Blanc, seems perfectly mirrored in the wines, especially this Pet Nat.

They moved to the left bank of the Loire a dozen years ago and farm 11 hectares spread across 25 parcels with vines ranging from 30 to 130 years old. Their core belief is that to have a living wine you need to have living soil with high microbial activity. A running theme through all the wines we’ve chosen.

Their wines are organic in the vineyard, zero-sulphur added and for this bottle, made from 45-year-old Chenin Blanc vines.

What’s Pet Nat anyway?

Champagne is made from finished still wine, you then add sugar (dosage), ferment, disgorge, bottle again. With Pet Nat you bottle and seal before fermentation of the wine is complete, judging just the right amount of sugar to end up with a dry finely moussed effervescent and quaffable delight.

Takes a gift to get right. This one most certainly is.

Swick Wines 2016 Columbia Gorge Grenache Blanc

Organic small-batch Grenache Blanc fermented on the skins. (That’s orange wine to some.)

Joe is talent, a friend, and while a 5th generation Oregonian, part of the 1st generation of West Coast natural wine makers. A growing but a small group of highly individualistic people from all walks of life, searching out interesting and organic plots up and down the coast to make wine from.

He spent 10 years working harvests in Portugal, Italy, Tasmania and California and New Zealand before settling in to start his own label.

Deeply passionate, terroir obsessive and a natural purist by nature.

Joe’s words sum his approach up- “I like the real deal. No maquillage [makeup].”

This Grenache Blanc is high-elevation, low alcohol wine with a jolt of freshness and strong nudge of layered acidity.

This is white wine made like red wine, fermented on the skins. An entirely new palette of taste for most of us as the drinkers, and for the winemaker, an endless opportunity for creativity and expression.

Skins are the touch of the earth in wine, where minerals and bouquet and tannins live.

This bottle is Joe’s idea of where his intent, the place itself, the climate at this given time and the grape variety itself become terroir, true and unqualified.

Two wines from RuBor Viticultores

The Sierra de Gredos are the massive mountains just West of Madrid where a new generation of winegrowers are recuperating abandoned vines, adopting vineyards from retiring farmers and moving to organic and biodynamic agriculture.

Enter RuBor Viticultores, a partnership between Rubén Díaz and Orly Lumbreras, born of friendship and a shared passion for ancient vines and their mountain home.

The poet of the pair, Orly, phrased their intent to produce tiny amounts of the white varieties Chasselas and Albillo as a personal preference. To him ”White wine is for dreaming, and red wine is for enjoyment”.

I think we get equal doses of both in these bottles.

RuBor Viticultores 2015 Castilla y León Chass! Chasselas

Most of us think of Savoie in the French Alps when we think of Chasselas, myself included, but this bottle is something different. Something Spanish.

Biodynamically farmed and made from two tiny 70-year old Chasselas plots grown in decomposed granite there is something uniquely this alpine place in the glass that you can taste.

With 3-4 days on the skins during fermentation and the slightest tad of sulfur added at bottling.

It hard not to love this one.

This is Ruben and Orly’s bright and salty gift, fresh and expressive, crunchy minerals, with a tickle of tannin and effervescence in the bouquet from time on the skins

RuBor Viticultores 2014 Castilla y León Protocolo Zero

Albillo Real is the great white grape of the Gredos area.

Big-boned with moderate acidity, this is a blend of Albillo from two very old plots, with a variety of different vinifications.

Protocolo Zero is their intent to marry the fresh, youthful, and bright wines with rich, spicy, and aromatic ones, from different elevations in proportions of their choosing.

100% Albillo grown with biodynamic methods on organic vineyards with very little sulfur added at bottling.

Full of granite in texture and length, with flavors of pear, butterscotch, minerals and a hint of fresh ginger.

This is a natural Rose made with 100% Carignan, oozing with flavor and chutzpah.

You realize with artisanal and natural wine that type—be in Rose or Pet Nat or whatever—are just guidelines meant to be interpreted.

And this Rose crafted by Jean-François Nicq is no summer pink fling. This is the real deal in complexity, satiation and a ton of vivaciousness in the glass.

From the Languedoc, near Montpelier, France, Jean-Francois has found his special spot in the most eastern Pyrenean Mountain chain where he has been making wine since 2002.

Organic, and zero sulfur added.

Peppery redcurrant and raspberry aromas with floral and citrus notes. Super fresh and wildly aromatic in character.

Bermejos 2013 Lanzarote Rosado of Listan Negro

The island of Lanzarote is the most Westerly of the Canary Islands, politically part of Spain but a world of its own, closer in actuality to Africa.

In the 1700s, a month-long volcanic eruption covered the island in black lava meters deep, destroying agriculture but spawning a unique environment for wine.

Like craters on the moon, half-domed hoyo are scooped out of the lava which protects the vines and extracts moisture from the violent gusts of sea breezes.

It is hugely laborious to work this place by hand, with tiny yields, but in this case, difficulty breeds something magical and intense with a soul all of its own.

Like this wine at the hands of winemaker Ignacio Valdera.

100% Listán Negro Rosado, organically grown and hand crafted.

Complex yet satiating. Tart with sea salt. A nip of volcanic minerality.

Nothing transports me quite like this bottle, sitting on my rooftop in TriBeCa on a Spring Saturday afternoon drinking in these unusual yet familiar flavors from this surreal moon-like place on the other side of the world.

Amplify 2015 Santa Ynez Valley Camp 4 Carignane

I’ve been smitten with this wine since my first taste earlier this year.

Cameron and Marlen Porter are Santa Barbara born and raised. Local people wanting to recreate something special, doing more by doing less with intent.

In their own words, they wanted their Carignane to have one foot in the wild iterations of the Roussillon in France and the other with the light beauty of Poulsard from my beloved Jura.

A sense of place. A sense of style. This is all about the freedom of the craftsperson within a framework of beliefs.

An attempt to re-find the terroir of their home geography with a newer, less encumbered, more natural approach to winemaking.

Organic. Some sulfur at bottling. Tiny production.

They describe this bottle as delicate, lithe, limpid red wine with just a hint of the savage. Add a bouquet that is surprising in the face of a pale delicate juice and I agree.

This is a talented couple just starting out on a journey.

I met them a few weeks ago and my first inclination was to hug them.  Which I did.

Silice Viticultores 2015 Ribeira Sacra

Ribeira Sacra is in the very northwest corner of Spain.

Abandoned for generations but unchanged since the Romans terraced its slopes and planted grapes to make wines for their armies marching towards the sea. Too steep for machinery. Too harsh for anything but indigenous fauna.

Enter Silice Viticultores, a partnership of three men–winegrower Fredi Torres and brothers Carlos and Juan Rodriguez to reclaim these terraces and make wine that captures their connection to this place.

Primarily Mencia, with Merenzao, Albarello, Garnacha Tintorera, and some white grapes, from multiple small vineyards on slate and granite slopes in Amandi averaging 60-80 years old.

Every single grape is moved by pulley and bucket, by the sweat of people reclaiming the past with an eye towards a new future.

Organic with biodynamic methods, no additives except a touch of sulfur at bottling.

Exquisite and crisp, with subtle red fruit character.  Reminiscent of some Pinot Noirs from Savoie or the Jura, or Gamay from Beaujolais.

Easy on the mouth yet light on the senses. Bold enough to pour at a feast yet subtle enough to drink on the fire escape on a warm NY summer night.

Le Raisin et L’Ange 2016 Vin de France Pause Canon

Some natural wines are made by a new generation of individuals, rediscovering and reinventing something old to make a new.

Some are projects, inspired people reclaiming their pasts or iconoclast agronomists proving a case to the world.

And some are just farmers making wine they want to drink, local philosophers of the soil just doing it.

The later is Gilles Azzoni to a word, making 100% natural wine with nothing added to simple quaff and enjoy.

His farm is in Ardeche, not far from Lyon, sort of West of the Northern Rhone. Basically in the middle of nowhere in France. Or maybe a special somewhere.

This is farmers wine, made naturally with astounding skill. A blend of 75% Gamay and 25% Syrah and to get a bit geeky, 6-day whole cluster carbonic maceration for the Gamay, 12 days for the Syrah.

Enjoy this one. Drink it back as that is exactly what it is made for.

Round and effervescent. Fruit layered but not forward.

From Gilles farm somewhere in France to your glass at a blockchain gathering high above the city in NYC.