Wine for Normal People Podcast Ep 170: Isabelle Legeron, Leader of the Natural Wine Movement

Isabelle Legeron is France’s only female Master of Wine, and one of only 343 MWs worldwide. Winner of the screenshot2012-02-07at18-43-56Madame Bollinger award for Excellence in Tasting, and the Villa Maria award for Viticulture, she was also named ‘Wine Woman of the Year’ in Paris. She consults for Michelin starred restaurants, has hosted her own TV shows including “That Crazy French Woman” and “Journey into Wine,”  has founded a wine school and a high end wine club, and consulted on wine lists around the world.

Several years back, Isabelle created RAW WINE, the UK’s largest artisan wine fair, which also takes place in Berlin and New York (beginning November 6-7, 2016. Tickets still available!). Isabelle is also a writer for Decanter magazine, other publications and has written a book: Natural Wine: an introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally, which has been nominated for several prestigious awards. 

Below are the topics we explored in this interesting look at this niche in the wine world!

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  1. Isabelle’s path to becoming an MW and her experiences with the WSET and MW programs
  2. Shaping and defining: What is natural wine? 
    • Isabelle’s definition: A wine which has been made from grapes that are organically and biodynamically farmed (please listen to the audio blog on this for a deeper explanation!), and once in the winery, have had nothing added or taken away — no additives, not fining or filtering (except for taking out big bugs)

  3. A big discussion around sulfur and whether or not it’s acceptable in natural wine and to what extent. What lack of sulfur could do to the “portability” of wine (e.g., is it any good if you ship it overseas).
  4. The flexibility and degrees of natural as it relates to wine and the importance of ingredient labeling in wine
  5. The division between drink-making and wine making and how there need to be many sub-categories within wine (depending on how they are made
  6. The Old World/New World divide in philosophy (nature v. nurture/terroir v technology) and which one has more natural producers
  7. The flavors of natural wine
  8. The viability of a large producer making natural wine
  9. All about RAW Wineraw-wine-logo-v1-vertical

What do you think about natural wine? Have you had it? From where? What did you think?