RAW Berlin 2015
(by Juraj Konečný)
This year the Markthalle Neun on Eisenbahnstraße in Kreuzberg, Berlin, was home for RAW Berlin 2015, natural wine festival (RAW (rɔː) – adj in a natural state; not treated by manufacturing or other processes). The ancient, 120 years old building gave the event a classic old school look and feel.
129 natural wine producers from all around the world, including New Zealand, South Africa, Slovakia, Hungary, Georgia, Serbia or Czech Republic. The event could easily be perceived as a natural feast of wines, beers, ciders and of course food (local German specialities as well as fresh oysters, cheeses, hams...)
Winemakers from Slobodné Vinárstvo (Slovakia) enjoying small, family owned biodynamic winery from Southwest (France). Philip and Sandra, the owners produce wines from one local indigenous variety called Ugni Blanc. Their wines were intense on the nose with citrusy freshness, full of fruits like green apples, pears and apricots, gentle minerality and multiple layers of flavours with persistent finish. I admire when a winery decides to specialize in one variety, it is exciting and for some, risky journey. This one hit the jackpot.
Chateau Le Puy - from Bordeaux, another biodynamic winery from world famous region farming on 51ha of 50 years old vineyards. The wines were just perfect Bordeaux blends, not cheap though (Retour Des iles 2012 - 288€/bottle) but well worth it for its excellence. We were told a secret speciality of the winery when they sends their wines to Carribean from Bordeaux and back - a 10 month journey for the wines to gently sway in barrels and this way gain the extra swag.
Hiro, the natural wine knight tasting Vavrinec 2014 with Zsolt Sütő, winemaker from Strekov 1075 winery. This virgin wine (vines trained on stakes) is from difficult vintage and contains low alcohol. It matured 3 months sous voile style in old oak barrels. Pronounced red fruit ballances out the lively acidity and makes the wine very easy to drink.
Gentlemen from a famous european restaurant enjoying Rozália 2014. This wine - Portugieser 2014, was dosed with pure grape juice of Alibernet 2014 (as a liqueur de tirage) and was bottled with the sediment. Very difficult to open and stay clean, however a great character for those seeking unusual.
Leberkäse sandwich - a bavarian speciality served with sweet mustard. One of these will make you keep on tasting without loosing the ballance.
Clos Cristal winery from Loire Valley, no selected yeast, no sugar, no chemical products of any kind, no temperature control in vinification. All works in the vineyard done by hands and three horses, typical RAW Berlin winemaker style.
It was a great show, a gathering of wine purists, food and beverage professionals seeking the new, open minded public, all in sync with nature and difference.