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5 Artisinal Wines You Should Know

"Whenever you are picking artisanal wines it is always better to first understand the winemaker and their philosophy of winemaking."

  • Written By: Noa
  • Role:
  • Date: 11th March 2014
  • Time: 04:59 pm

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5 Artisinal Wines You Should Know

The word “artisan” conjures up a number of images. So what exactly is an artisan? The Webster dictionary definition is "one that produces something (as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods"

Usually, an artisinal wine will come from a small producer, produced in limited quantities and follows the following principles:
i) It is representative of the region in which it is grown
ii) It is representative of the grape/grapes from which it is made
iii) It is representative of the winemaker who made it and their interpretation of the vineyards
In summary, artisanal wines are winemaker driven!

Even in a world increasingly dominated by large, often international brands, there are still hundred of thousands of artisanal wineries. So whenever you are picking artisanal wines it is always better to first understand the winemaker and their philosophy of winemaking.

Here are five artisanal winemakers you wouldn’t want to miss out on:

Weingut Judith Beck: Conformity and going mainstream mean nothing to Judith Beck, a winemaker from the town of Gols in Burgenland, Austria. She doesn’t always take the easiest route to achieve her goal, which is to produce authentic wines that carry her distinctive signature and provide a conquest for discerning wine lovers. Since 2007, Judith Beck has cultivated her vineyards according to organic and biodynamic principles. Judith Beck and her style of winemaking impress you with their subtle restraint, their authenticity and purity – a delicate, sustainable character, and not an overpowering blast. Her wines are a reflection of her personality.

Podere Veneri Vecchio: It is a small wine farm located in Castelvenere (Campania region) in southern Italy. Raffaello’s (the winemaker) philosophy is : respect for the land, the vineyards and the man. The cultivation of the vineyards takes place without the use of chemical fertilizers. The processing of the grapes, the must and subsequently of the wines, take place in full respect of "naturality" and integrity of the product. The wine are not filtered and due to the naturalistic approach, the “natural wines” produced have a strong sensorial peculiarity.

Mythopia: This small winery in Valais, Switzerland is run by Hans-Peter who named his winery Mythopia and calls it "an experimental wine garden". It’s formed from the words myth and utopia. Hans-Peter is not a traditional winemaker he is a climate farmer! He bought the vineyards in 2003 to convince farmers about the benefits of ecology and “climate-farming”. So what is climate farming? Climate farming uses agricultural means to keep carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from escaping into the atmosphere. A climate farm can grow food, generate power and help keep carbon out of the air. Hans-Peter follows a non-interventionist method of winemaking right from the vineyards into his cellars.

Dva Duby: Dva duby winery, which means two oaks, is a small family winery based in Dolni Kounice, Czech Republic run by Jiri. White grape varieties are Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia. Red ones are Blaufrankisch and Saint Laurent. All the wines mature in wooden barrels with no additives, no filters and not even pumps are involved in the process. Their aim is simple - they want to preserve as much of the unique terroir of Dolni Kounice as possible in every bottle of the wine and to produce wines with aging potential.

Dyer Vineyards:  This vineyard is located in the Diamond Mountain District, in the western edge of the Napa Valley and is run by a Bill and Dawnine! They just make one wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend and favour a restrained, balanced style that allows intrinsic fruit, structure and minerality to be the focus. As Dawnine says, “When working with the deeply-coloured wines from our vineyard, we find our hands become stained -- like the dyer's hand.” The wines from this unique site have such intensity and concentration that they have learned to approach the winemaking with their natures subdued, and they let the terroir do the talking.

If you sense the winemaker has a deft hand in allowing the land and the grapes to sing through in the wine, then applaud the efforts and order a case of wine.

Arjun Seth is the CEO of Cellar Door, an online wine marketplace that allows consumers from around the world to buy wines directly from boutique wineries. Cellar Door is currently seeking investment on CrowdBnk. To learn more about Cellar Door, click here.