It’s Raw Wine week in Montreal

Events are happening at bars and restaurants around the city.

Photos by Clayton Sandhu

The one-day-only natural wine fair RAW is sold out, but if you missed your chance to buy a ticket, don’t worry — you can still participate. In what many wine bars and wine importers are calling “La semaine des vignerons” (winemaker week), there are plenty of opportunities to meet winemakers and taste their wines out in the wild. The dates surrounding the fair are jam-packed with winemakers doing events across the city that are open to the public and generally free, aside from whatever wines you choose to taste and food you choose to eat.

In many ways this is actually the best way to experience RAW. The fair itself is going to be packed; in cities like New York, London and Berlin, the fair was split up over two days to accommodate the public wishing to taste new wines and a separate day for wine professionals looking to add new references to their wine lists. In Montreal, it’s been ambitiously compressed into one day, meaning that at 4 p.m. when the doors open, the venue is already filled with industry folk, and lines to taste wines from over 80 winemakers present are likely to be long with minimal opportunity to actually speak with the winemakers.

Historically, the fair is fun but exhausting. The layman is usually overwhelmed by the sheer volume of wine, and the professional battles with making their rounds with winemakers while maintaining good tasting notes (not to mention a professional level of sobriety) after tasting more than 100 wines in the course of a few hours. Outside the event hall and in more relaxed, less formal settings, winemakers will be milling around with the public, actually drinking the wine they make with you. Generally, the experience of drinking wine in the presence of the winemaker is better enjoyed in the convivial atmosphere of a bar, rather than clawing your way to the front of the line to sample a sip of the day’s offerings. As you find your place seated at the bar, or with a glass chatting with your new favourite Austrian winemaker, the atmosphere changes. These are the moments where special bottles are opened, stories are told of rare bottles tasted, harvest seasons are reminisced upon, conversations and joie de vivre flow as freely as wine to cup.

Here is a list of some of the events that are on this week and next:

Bar Henrietta

Winemakers will be dropping in to show their wines all week at Henrietta:

Monday, Oct. 29

Cantina Fongoli of Perugia, Italy

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Sylvain Bock from Ardèche, France

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Clos Lenticus and Finca Parera of Catalunya, Spain

Thursday, Nov. 1

A post raw afterparty of which not many details are known. Expect some appearences from winemakers and a pretty wild night.

Friday, Nov. 2

Elios, Sicily, Italy

Bar Henrietta

115 Laurier W.


Monday, Oct. 29

Tuscany’s Tunia, and Amerighi Vineyards

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Vivien Hemelsdael of Minervois’s le Clos des Jarres

Wednesday, Oct. 31

Benjamin Taillandier of Minervois, France and

Michael Gindl, Claus Preisinger and, Sepp Muster all hailing from Austria.

Various wines by these producers will be served by the glass at the restaurant all week, irrespective of the days in which in the winemakers are present.


271 St-Zotique W.


Furco / Café Parvis

Monday Oct. 29, Cafe Parvis and Furco will be hosting:

Meinklang from Austria

Wine Estate Burja from Vipava, Slovenia

Marc Castan from Domaine Mamaruta, in Corbières, France

Marinella Camerani of Azienda Agricola Corte Sant’Alda, Italy

Nicolas Grosbois of Domaine Grosbois, Val De Loire, France

Wines from all producers are available by the glass or bottle.


425 Mayor                                                                



Café Parvis

433 Mayor



Tuesday, Oct. 30

The St-Henri wine bar will be hosting the following:

Strekov 1075 of Strekov, Slovakia

Koppitsch of Burgenland, Austria

2naturkinder of Franken, Germany

DB Schmitt of Rheinhessen, Germany

All the winemakers will be present with their wines served by the glass. As usual, seasonal small plates will be available a la carte. Reservations are highly recommended.


5001 Notre-Dame W.


Le Blumenthal

Tuesday, Oct. 30

Le Blumenthal will be hosting:

Chianti’s Ottomani Vino

Jason Ligas of Pella, Greece

and Liguria’s Il Torchio, among others.

Seating is limited and reservations are highly recommended.

Le Blumenthal

305 Ste-Catherine W.



Wednesday, Oct. 31

Selections from Santa Barbara’s Lo-Fi Wines as well as cuvées from celebrated Quebec wine makers Veronique Hupin and Michael Marler at Les Pervenches will be shown along side, Quebec Hydromel producer Desrochers. Tickets are 38$ and include five 2oz. tastings and one accompanying dish.

Tuesday, Nov. 6

An evening with famed Austrian wine makers Eduard Tscheppe et Stephanie Eselböck-Tscheppe of Burgenland’s Gut Oggau. Tickets are 30S and include three 2oz. pours and an entree and accompaniment.

Tickets for both events available on


Saturday, Nov. 3

Chef Chanthy Yen will be crafting a six-course menu for $75 with chefs Desiree Valencia (former chef de partie at ‘Saison’ and baker at Thomas Kellers’ ‘Bouchon Bakery’) and Andres Giraldo Florez (former chef de partie at ‘Saison’ and ‘Mugaritz’). They’ll be offering biodynamic wines from wine makers featured at RAW.


5427 St-Laurent