DETAILS: “Natural Wine” is the hottest, and most hotly debated wine category today. Many contemporary wine professionals have embraced “natural” processes as the driving force behind their portfolios, wine lists and offers. It’s also a thrilling category for open-minded drinkers who are interested in new styles and up-and-coming wine regions, as well as those who care about environmental sustainability and their own personal well-being.
Join natural wine thought-leaders, influencers, and makers Ned Swain, Zev Rovine, Josefa Concannon and Brian Smith for this insightful and delicious natural wine panel discussion. Each panelist will serve a wine during the talk.
If you're a wine professional or amateur enthusiast, and you care about wine’s history, present, and future, this is an event not to be missed! You’ll leave this panel discussion captivated by the wines themselves and inspired by a mind-broadening understanding of natural wine.
Ned Swain — Ned Swain fell in love with wine while studying in Florence, Italy as a teenager. On his return to Maine he lucked into a job at the Blue Hill Wine Shop and worked for David Witter: a man who played a big part in creating the fine wine market in Maine back in the 1970s and 1980s. Ned moved to Portland in 2002 at the age of 21 to expand Devenish Wines, although he had no experience in sales or distribution. Ned grew up in and with the southern Maine restaurant scene and quickly realized he was happier and more successful when he focused on wines that he was passionate about regardless of whether or not anyone had heard of the places they came from. As the food scene in Maine continued to develop, Ned focused more and more on wines that tasted like the climate, soil, and culture of the specific place they came from. Eventually many of those wines began to be called “Natural”. Ned has had the opportunity to watch from the inside as the Natural Wine movement in America coalesced and gained momentum. Most recently, Ned has been running across parts of Italy and visiting small producers along the way, in preparation for writing a food and wine travel book.
THE PANEL: Each panelist will serve a wine during the talk.
Zev Rovine — Zev started his own company bringing in Natural wine and has had a huge impact on the movement in the US.
Josefa Concannon — Josefa has been in the Food and Beverage industry her whole life. She made the jump to working for Louis Dressner over 15 years ago. Dressner was one of the first companies to focus exclusively on wines made more naturally and to be comfortable having that conversation and explaining the complex technical differences.
Brian Smith — Brian studied wine making in CA and then returned to New England with his wife and bought an old salt water farm in mid coast Maine. He started Oyster River Winegrowers as a DIY homestead and over the years has persevered through all the Maine winters and initial skepticism of Maine wine to figure out how to make exciting wines fermented with native yeast on the coast of Maine