Page 25 - Vallet Table - Spring 2020
P. 25

                                   Whitecliff's take on natural wine, branded as "non-intervention"
natural selection. “We want to talk about wine in a way that is playful, approachable, useful, and hopefully intriguing. We find customers are more willing to try a wine or grape they know nothing about. They are more comfortable
asking questions.”
Eye-catching bottle design and a cache of cultural
references helps natural wine thrive on social media. “The door is more ajar than with conventional wines because the language is a bit more accessible and because of the aesthetics,” explains Drapkin. “Social media is an important part of our business in that we can connect with consumers across the globe. The appearance and language help get people engaged, and then you can dig a little bit deeper into more factual information about the wine or the maker.”
I dislike the term ‘natural’ because it implies that all other wines are unnatural, and that is frankly inaccurate.
— Yancey Stanforth-Migliore
For Wild Arc, social and mainstream media attention helped raise the profile of its piquette, a drinkable wine byproduct that’s made from a second extraction of grapes. “It’s a no-brainer economically,” says Cavallo, who
shared information about the historic method with other producers, many of whom will release their own piquette this year. “We’ll get a mention on Instagram or a story in a magazine, and we’ll see hundreds of new followers in the days following.”
Can natural wine revolutionize the industry as a whole? “Many natural wine producers are owner-operated, independent businesses farming very small plots of land. Scaling up is not an option for them,” says Kennard. Still, Drapkin is cautiously optimistic about the future. “People are talking about it. More people are farming organically and biodynamically, are transparent about their products. Wines are coming from the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
and Georgia. As more people are making natural wines, maybe the word becomes less relevant, and it just becomes wine again.” 

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