Real talk a lot of the old-guard natural wine producers that people think are so provincial, lovely, and quaint are actually staunch ecofacists and xenophobes. There is a huge hard right/left split in natural wine that doesn't get the attention it deserves 🧵 1/15
A good example is Fulvio Bressan (xenophobe) vs. Marcel Lapierre (notable non-xenophobe). Both of these natural winemakers appear on leading wine lists. They are also currently on the wine lists of some of Edmonton's most respected restaurants 2/15
Marcel Lapierre was a noted disciple of the chemist/winemaker Jules Chauvet, a man who prefigured the entire natural wine movement through his aesthetic obsession with the beauty of unsulphured wine. No 'blood and soil' here, just a man rejecting industrial modernity 3/15
It's then no surprise that Lapierre was a close friend of famous marxist social theorist Guy Debord, who wrote on the alienation of modern mass consumptive 'spectacle' society. Debord's friendship no doubt influenced Lapierre's hunt for beauty in raw, irreproducible wines 4/15
Lapierre's interest in making natural wine was largely as a pushback to the mass produced, chemical-heavy, industrial operations overtaking his region of Beaujolais in the 1980s, led by wine capitalists like Georges Duboeuf 5/15
All this to say, one can position Lapierre in the same leftist historical arc of anti-industrialization/anti-mass consumption/anti-'confected wines' that characterizes an enormous swatch of natural wine producers today 6/15
For those interested, this also positions these producers in a similar history of critical theory developed by left french & german jewish intellectuals like Adorno, Lefebre, and Debord, who pushed-back against the alienating modern experience of capitalist industrialization 7/15
Cut to Fulvio Bressan, famed Italian natural winemaker and enormously unapologetic racist and xenophobe:…

Bressan represents the worst of far-right tendencies in natural wine. He embraces provincial agrarianism because he believes he is 'preserving' some idyllic organic community that is being threatened by migrants and people of colour 9/15
This is the heart of ecofacism and white nationalist environmentalism. It is fundamentally rooted in the idea that one must preserve the traditions of some long-forgotten way of life not to share that world with everyone, but to stake a claim on it for oneself 10/15
It's hard to say how deep this sentiment runs in the natural wine community, but I have seen it articulated countless times from winemakers, including from the 'next' generation 11/15
It is also frequently bundled with other conservative sentiments on family (ie. my *sons* must take over my winery) and beliefs on the traditional role of women (ie. women are not winemakers or serious wine professionals, drunk men are cheery; drunk women are vulgar) 12/15
For these men, natural wine traditions are preserved out of a fear of simply being replaced 13/15
For those interested, that position also aligns with an enormous history of writers and intellectuals on the right such as F.R. Leavis and C.S Lewis, who desired a return to the pre-modern 'organic' community before industrialization, where everyone 'knew their place' 14/15
All this to say, natural wine reflects the larger right/left division that has animated many confrontations with industrial modernity. On one side, marxist currents seeking a reconnection to the aesthetic and beautiful; on the other side, blood and soil fascism. Chin chin. 15/15

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