I’ve loved wine from a younger age than I should admit – from when my dad would give me a sip of his wine at dinner. At first I knew nothing about wine. As many of us do, I would take a gamble on a pretty label or award sticker and hope for the best. But I was very curious. So, I traveled to hundreds of vineyards around the world on holiday, meeting the people making the wines and learning about the craft. I loved finding the little vineyards run by hard-working and passionate wine makers who were out in the fields every day pruning, tasting their grapes, getting to know their vines. and as a result harvesting at perfect ripeness, respecting and preserving their land, and crafting wines that were a work of art. I was so enthusiastic, I even studied nights and weekends for 2 years to earn my WSET3 sommelier certification (with merit!).
A THIRST FOR MORE
Unfortunately, the more I traveled and tasted, the more dissatisfied I became with the wine selection in supermarkets and wine shops – even online. The same faceless, mass-produced wines from the same set of grapes and regions on display everywhere. The hidden gems I’d discovered on my travels were nowhere to be found. Did you know wine is being made from over a thousand different varietals across the world – but only 20 of those account for 8 out of 10 bottles you find on the shelf today?
DAVID VS. GOLIATH
Supermarkets and wine retail chains need a certain volume to supply their stores so they can only work with big producers. Unfortunately, because of the size of their fields, big wine producers are more likely to spray pesticides by default, harvest mechanically rather than by hand, plant the most common varietals that people know and buy, and use meter readings and additives to shape their wines. What does this mean for us as wine drinkers? Less variety, less discovery, and wines that are less good for our bodies, our palates, and the environment.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION
As a curious wine lover who enjoys discovering a new wine, the story behind it, and how it can enrich my foodie lifestyle, I didn’t like the direction things were heading. I feared a future with standard wines on tap like a soda fountain. So I quit my corporate job to start VYNO.