Bushwick raised a glass to sustainable imbibing this past Sunday and Monday, when the internationally renowned Raw Wine Fair presented its first major Stateside event in East Williamsburg.
Organizers sold close to 2,000 tickets to the event, and about 120 wine producers were in attendance at the expo, which took place at 99 Scott Avenue, in the same building that will soon be the home of Bunker Vietnamese.
A quarter of the attendees were members of the general public, and the rest were industry professionals, such as chefs, sommeliers, and distributors, but everyone in attendance was passionate about wine.
One attendee who traveled to East Williasmsburg from out-of-state with her company for the event, gushed: “It’s curated so well! It’s so exciting to have such an incredible variety of talented wine producers in one place.”
There are five qualifications participants need to certify for their product to be up to the standards of the Raw Wine Fair.
Organic grapes, grown without the use of artificial chemicals.
Wine prepared by hand using artisanal techniques.
A traditional winemaking process that enables balance.
Creating a living wine, with low intervention in the cellar.
Promoting wellbeing in individuals and communities.
The vast majority of the booths featured classic wines, but there was also a small selection of alternative beverages such as vermouths, meads, ciders, and one tea producer.
All of the booths were staffed by knowledgable representatives serving their businesses’ offerings.
Tea Dealers, Inc. owner Stefan Ramirez explained how wines and teas share many similarities. When it comes to taste profiles and choosing ingredients, the process for making wines and teas is roughly the same, he says.
Enlightenment Wines, whose production facility and tasting room Honey’s is located just around the corner from the event, also had representatives in attendance. Owner Raphael Lyon co-hosted a panel, entitled “Naturalness in Other Drinks,” on Monday.
Neighborhood favorite Roberta’s was one of the restaurants providing food for the event, as their wine list aligns with the fair’s philosophy of promoting natural, organic, and additive-free wines produced with transparency. They also carry some of the wines featured.
Raw Wine has taken place in various cities around the world since 2012, but this was the first time in the United States.
Raw Wine’s organizer, France’s only female Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron, spoke with Bushwick Daily about choosing Bushwick as home to this event, explaining that she scouted some Manhattan locations, but ultimately she “felt like Brooklyn was more suited to who we are.”
“We always try to push the boundary,” says Legeron. “We are always a little bit on the edge of something.”
The Brooklyn event was a huge event, and a Brooklyn fair will now be a regular feature on Raw Wine Fair’s annual calendar.
Catch it next year, Wine lovers!
Featured image: Raw wine against a clear Bushwick sky. Gustavo Ponce for Bushwick Daily.