The screening was accompanied by a panel discussion on natural wine and an intimate wine tasting. Guests got to sample Italian whites – La Distesa Marche Bianco, “Terre Silvate” 2013 and La Stoppa Emilia Bianco, “Ageno” 2009 as well as to Italian reds – Stefano Bellotti Rosso, “Semplicemente Vino” 2013 and Pacina, “Toscana Rosso” 2009.
Natural Resistance follows the lives of a small group of Italian wine growers who refuse to use chemicals and make their wine in the most “natural” way possible. Their argument is that they should be free to craft wine in a “raw” style, using simple, natural methods and without having to submit themselves to the strict rules of the governing bodies. As a result, they are are at odds with the heavily controlled industry that fines them for not using industrialised methods and chemical supplements, making it virtually impossible for them to access penetrate market. By focusing the camera through the winegrowers’ eyes, Nossiter a former sommelier is able to show the harmful impact of globalisation and potentially disastrous consequences of industrial farming techniques.
Nossiter, who uses a handheld camera, is not there simply to record their opinions, but leads conversations and interjects when he has a viewpoint. In one striking scene one of the growers shows the difference in the soil of his own vineyard to that of his neighbor several yards away who uses the full range of chemicals and fertilizers. His own soil is dark, full of mulch and moist, while his neighbour’s soil is dry and brittle.
See our highlights of the panel discussion:
Alice Feiring, Wine Writer- Moderator: How from your perspective has natural wine changed for you and for your customers in the past 10 years?
Karl Wurst, Manager and Wine-Buyer, The Natural Wine Company
People come in and ask about our natural wines. They are excited; they love them. There is more awareness. Natural wines are now being made in New York which is exciting.
Talia Baiocchi, Editor in Chief, PUNCH
Well from an editorial perspective, I think what’s changed is the pendulum is strong in a different perspective. There are more voices in the arena. People are trying to mirror how they eat with what they drink and how they see the world. I won’t say natural wine isn’t necessarily main-stream but I think it has not become in the margins anymore. It’s something people really identify with and it makes complete sense.
Nick Gorevic, Wine List Consultant, June Natural Wine Bar
Like Talia said natural wine has become more known and popular but the other thing I see more recently is that people attaching to the idea be it the importer or even a restaurant. There was an article that had us all in a tizzy, where several sommeliers said their list is 80 percent natural but we didn’t define the term super rigidly. It’s been kinda “in” to say your into natural wine and you have natural wine.