Cheers to raw wine in Montréal

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is a Montréal-based editor and storyteller with a curiosity that runs deeper than most. She has chatted life philosophies with celebrity chefs, gemologists, arena rockers and furries. All were transformative. 

This article was updated on October 12, 2022.

Montréal’s booming raw wine scene is something to boast—and toast—about. And where better than at Raw Wine, a two-day celebration of all things oenophile? This weekend fair in the Old Port takes place on November 19 and 20, 2022. It honours some of the best wine talents in the world. So come on down to learn, taste and purchase some amazing vintages, all produced according to low-intervention organic and biodynamic techniques.

What exactly is raw wine?

Raw wine, also known as natural win, is a definite trend if the local wine lists are anything to go on. Most self-respecting wine bars now boast a selection of funky orange, pink, sometimes fizzy, sometimes murky (and always interesting!) raw wine options. But it’s hardly a new thing: raw wine uses techniques that date back to the dawn of wine.

Natural wine is farmed organically without the use of artificial chemicals and made (or rather transformed) without any additives or processing aids. Prepared by hand using artisanal techniques, it keeps interventions in the naturally occurring fermentation process to a minimum, meaning neither fining nor tight filtration are used. The result is a living wine—wholesome and full of naturally occurring microbiology.

 

About the Raw Wine fair

Raw Wine is an international fair that’s also taken place in Berlin, Miami, New York, London and L.A. in past years. The 2022 Montréal edition is happening November 19 and 20 at Quai King Edward in the Old Port (2 de la Commune E, follow the signs from the Montréal Science Centre), from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The fair was created by world-renowned natural wine advocate Isabelle Legeron to be an independent wine event that celebrates what she calls “wines with emotion.” It brings together its growers, importers, trade professionals and wine amateurs from far and wide. Not only an educational opportunity, it’s a chance to shop and fill your cellar with new discoveries.

 

Where to enjoy raw wine in Montréal

Before and after the Raw Wine fair, where can you taste raw wines in the city? Um, everywhere! Raw wines are all over Montréal restaurants and wine bars, with many being dedicated nearly exclusively to this type of tipple—and you’ll even find a handsome selection at the SAQ, our liquor board. Here are a few of our favourite places to enjoy some stunning natural wines year-round.

 

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is a Montréal-based editor and storyteller with a curiosity that runs deeper than most. She has chatted life philosophies with celebrity chefs, gemologists, arena rockers and furries. All were transformative. 

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