What’s the difference between you and Martin Stead and Toby Radcliffe? They stuck with their lockdown passion and are about to introduce Collectivino to world, whereas you have some souring bread and dusty arts and crafts kit purchased in May 2020. I’m being quite harsh in that sweeping generalisation, but The Royal Albert Hall aren’t returning my calls and the next Richard and Judy endorsed number 1 best seller is still just a note in my phone. Maybe I’m just projecting here… Luckily for us, these two friends (20 years and counting) are people that get things done, and they on a mission to bring us not just good wine but better wine.
I had the pleasure of joining them for an intimate wine tasting event at Lant Street Wine, a former Victorian Cork Factory and Warehouse, on a recent wet and windy Wednesday night. The first thing that struck me was not just how passionate the people involved in this are; not in an overbearing painted-face sports fan kind of way, but more in the sense of being welcomed into a new village pub and they are genuinely happy to have you there and tell you their story.
The rhyme and reason of Collectivino might give a bit more context to what I mean.
Collectivino’s focus is on providing ethical wines from vineyards using sustainable farming practices, many of its featured wines follow organic farming practices and are naturally low in sulphites, and bottles are delivered to customers with net zero carbon impact through the entire supply chain. Or straight from the horse’s mouth.
Says Martin Stead, Co-Founder of Collectivino said:
“One day in 2020 while enjoying a glass of red together over a lockdown zoom call, Toby and I realised there were two issues for wine enthusiasts like us. Namely, it often seemed like potluck as to whether we’d choose an outstanding, average or downright disappointing wine; and it was way too difficult to work out and minimise the environmental impact of the wines we were choosing. So, we decided to do something about it and created Collectivino to provide wine lovers with exceptional quality wines that are produced and distributed responsibly, at an accessible price.”
While Co-Founder Toby Radcliffe added:
“As individuals we choose what we consume and should be aware of the impacts those choices have on the world around us. But those choices don’t have to be compromises in quality. You can enjoy great quality wine and minimise it’s carbon impact, through Collectivino.”
It is through these values and passion that Collectivino have come to work with some like-minded individuals, these folk aren’t here to just sell their products, they here to do the right thing for all wine drinkers, and make it taste great in the process.
This is why the evening felt so personal, it really was about bringing together the sum of its parts. Including Kristin Sytlevik, Founder of Oxney Organic Estate (35 acres of vines producing around 20% of all organic grapes grown in the UK, blimey!) and Paul Tutton, Founder of Waipara West, New Zealand. To name but a few. Other guests and I were then taken on a world tour of some of finest organic wines Collectivino have to offer.
Starting in England, of all places, with the dry and refreshing Oxney Estate English Sparkling, a vineyard blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Seyval Blanc.
Next stop Alsace, for a bold, rich wine oozing with character. Albert Seltz Gewurtztraminer (2018), bright golden yellow and intensely aromatic, with strong heady aromas of ginger, pepper, apricot, tea leaves, cinnamon.
Toby then introduces us to one of his favourites, Txakoli Tantaka Blanco (2019) straight from the Basque country. Clear and aromatic with notes of honey blossom, honey, Granny Smith apples and under-ripe pear.
Not to be outdone “Paul’s Pinot” made an appearance which is a Waipara West Pinot Noir (2014) and multi award winning white from the other side of, I guess all the ponds. Feeling tight and cool in the mouth, this bright and fruity perfectly balances the sweetness with the alcohol.
Rounding out the evening, Martin shares his personal favourite, and I’m inclined to join him, coming to us from Languedoc region of France, it’s the Tour Boisée Plantation 1905 (2020). With its 23 grape varieties, this is an absolute party in a glass resulting in a soft and fruity number, with an array of ripe red and black fruit aromas on the nose, a clean red fruit palate with morello cherry and plum.
It must be said that the ‘last of the summer wine’ enjoyed on this evening was made infinitely better with a bespoke cheese pairing from Neals Yard Dairy, but we would need a lot more time to get into all that. If my cheesy lines don’t do it justice, you’ll just have to head over yourself.
You can’t throw a rock nowadays without hitting a business that is shouting about their ethical practices, sustainability or positive environmental impact, don’t get me wrong this is great to see but harsh reality is “greenwashing” and drowning out the good men and women that practice what they preach. Collectivino falls into this category, their approach and attitude is as good on the planet as the wine is on the palate.
Be sure to check out everything Collectivino has to offer by heading over to collectivino.com from all the above wines themselves to curated tasting classes and everything in between. Do something better for yourself and the planet you deserve. And if you’re still not convinced, I encourage you to take advantage of their special introductory offer of £50 off your first two orders of a Discovery Case, available to the first 100 new customers to sign up. This exclusive offer is available until October 31st, 2021, with further details available at on their website.
Sam Brady is a London based freelance writer and photographer covering travel and lifestyle.
Photographs courtesy of Collectivino and by Sam Brady