It is now mid-2019 and a bit more than a year since we started the Living Wine project. We feel it’s well overdue to communicate to you what’s driving us, especially to our partner winemakers and customers. Here comes the Living Wine manifesto: a statement of intentions and motives.
We belong to the “good” type of merchants – passionate.
We are middlemen, connecting winemakers with buyers, buying and selling. In other words, merchants. But there are different types of merchants. Some do this for the profit, others do this for passion. We clearly belong to the second category. Living Wine is a business, and of course, it’s here to make money too, at least to sustain the work it takes to be these middlemen. But clearly, our first motive is to share wines we love and support winemakers we admire, not to make profits.
Wines we love – buy, drink, and repeat.
While some merchants could sell anything, we are fairly strict about the wines we sell. Probably the most important rule we have is the following: we only sell wine that we know we would buy for ourselves, drink, and buy again and again, for our own enjoyment. In other words, wines we love for real. You will never find a wine in our portfolio that we would not be happy to open at our own tables!
We are three partners. We share a lot, but we still have different tastes from time to time. So we have this simple rule of majority: only import wines that at least two among the three of us would buy, drink, and repeat. This might not be the most effective approach from a business point of view, as our tastes are surely limited to the three of us and we probably miss on many other tastes. But that’s just a fact: we are not here to sell things we don’t love.
Honoring and revealing the fruit and the terroir
The wines we love express the fruit and terroir more directly and deeply, rather than reflecting the work in the cellar — sometimes in a simple and straightforward way, sometimes in a complex and subtle way. Of course, vinification is an art, and we value it a lot, but we think it should always focus on extracting the true expression of the fruit and the terroir through the fermentation and aging process of the wine. Never anything else!
Small scale artisanal wines – f**k industrial wine (with all due respect)
Beyond tastes, we also have values and convictions. All of us are very concerned and quite disgusted by “Big Food”, the multinational food and beverage industry. We recognize its damages on societies and the environment in general, as well as its very frightening ability to let flavors, tastes, crafts, knowledge, and beauty inherited from the past disappear. We are scared that our children will never get to taste them. For that reason, we have no interest in working with wineries opting for an industrial approach to wine.
Low intervention and natural practices
Because of all the above, we care that our wines are “natural”. We don’t want to get into the much-discussed topic on what exactly a natural wine is here, but one thing is clear to us: wines can only be alive and reveal the fruit and the terroir when natural practices are followed, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. Herbicides and pesticides in the vineyards kill the soil, additives in the cellar kill the wine and its ability to express the terroir. We care about vineyards that are alive, that are being worked by hand, that are farmed organically or following biodynamic practices (certified or not). We care for wines that follow natural fermentation, using native yeast. We care about wines that are made without additives, not fined nor too thinly filtered, and aged in neutral vessels. Aging wine in wood can be beautiful as long as it helps reveal the character of the wine. Adding sulfites in bottles can be a good idea as long as it is in very small quantities that won’t affect the personality of the wine.
If you were wondering a bit about who we are, we hope you better understand our intentions after reading this. Reach out if you ever want to talk about it.