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Wine-making has become ever-more unnatural, from the use of blanket crop-spraying in vineyards, to the over-use of sulfites, but finally someone is doing something about it. Isabelle Legeron MW is leading the campaign for natural wine – wine made as nature intended. There is no official description of natural wine, but a rough definition is that it is made from grapes that are farmed organically or biodynamically and harvested manually, and that the wine should ideally be made without adding or removing anything during the vinification process. It is basically good old-fashioned grape juice fermented into wine, just as nature intended. Isabelle is a crusader for the natural wine movement: she has her own show on the Travel Channel, organizes a hugely successful annual natural wine festival (RAW), and acts as adviser to several leading restaurants. Just as the craft beer movement has taken off across the globe, the demand for natural wine is growing and will continue to do so.
Isabelle Legeron was the first French woman to become a Master of Wine, and was named Wine Woman of the Year 2009 in Paris. She runs the highly successful RAW Natural Wine Festival in London’s Borough Market, and advises various restaurants on their wine lists, including the Michelin 2* Hibiscus. She contributes to Decanter magazine, and organizes conferences and tastings to promote natural wine. The author is based in London, UK.