The arrest of Valentina Passalacqua’s father, on charges of using illegal labour gangs (caporalato) has shocked the natural wine world – who were previously in love with Valentina and her wines. Simon J Woolf investigates and sets out the background and the context for this challenging affair.
Simon tastes the latest vintage of Cramele Recas’s natural wines, and finds that they throw up a whole host of interesting issues to do with labelling, sulphite levels and the definition of natural wine in general.
I hate the hoorah implied by ‘hand-picked’. I hate it more round about the fourth-plus week of repetitive vineyard work. At the worst of times in the vines, ‘bored’ is an understatement. But ‘hand-picked’ is a misrepresentation. Not everything is blockbuster work but everything is done by hand — and once you’ve completed one task, in a couple weeks you’ll be back at the same vine again.
What would you do if the entire economic backbone that supports your business looked like it could collapse? Some might throw in the towel, but not Florian Schuhmann-Irshik (Quantum winery). A young winemaker based in Austria’s Weinviertel, Schuhmann watched as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded around him, and then decided to act. He’s come up with a simple, flexible scheme that supports the wine ecosystem. It’s called Drinking-Against-Sinking and you should support it today!