In two steel tanks called “Fuck” (for “fuck”) and “Trump,” a wine revolution quietly ferments on a 5.5-acre vineyard located in Quebec. Pinard et Femme is responsible for this vineyard. The compact rows of vines that Frederic Simon tends are far from the rolling Tuscan hills and the famous grapes of Burgundy. But they have a huge impact on the viticulture. The wine’s political nature is reflected in the brewing equipment of the vineyard. Pinard et Filles produces wine that is almost entirely natural and unaltered on its journey to the bottle. It is grown without pesticides. Simon prefers to keep a few hundred bottles if the juice is subpar rather than selling it. He didn’t use a tractor for the first two seasons. Hand-tilling, however, is not a requirement for natural wine.
Simon, a retired wine importer, restaurateur, and entrepreneur says that the Pinard et Filles is not a project about making money. Simon, a former wine importer and restaurateur, says that the Pinard et Filles project is not about profit. Marc Seguin, a Canadian artist, designs the labels for each cuvee even though it only produces 96 bottles. (Simon gives him wine.) Simon and two of his employees dip the wax tops by hand on his stovetop. Some people collect Pinard wine just for the labels.
Pinard has become a household name in a province where you don’t see it on many restaurant wine lists. It’s a similar phenomenon to the recent Supreme release. According to Simon, every time the vineyard releases a new line of wines in one of five Montreal liquor stores, people start to queue up as early as 6:00 a.m., even though they can only buy one bottle. There is a waitlist for restaurants and wine bars that sell the product. Simon is not ashamed to admit that it’s hard to find the wine. Isaac Larose is a Quebecois designer and milliner who was once a street-style icon. He also loves natural wines. Instagram. Isaac Isaac Isaac is best known for his Larose-Paris hat collection. He also serves as the creative director of a Quebec City speakeasy and natural wine bar. Larose says that Simon Larose never responded to her request for Pinard et Filles. “I asked a well-connected sommelier from Montreal if he would be able to help me, but he said ‘no’.”
Larose finally found Pinard’s wines after a year-long search. He realized that the hype was true. Larose says, “It is the type of wine you think about for days after.” You want to try it again. (Another reason why Pinard wines are hard to taste is that the vineyards are not open to the general public.) Simon says he didn’t pay a cent to set up a showroom with a waiter or girl to welcome customers who would only sip the wine. Isaac, sensing a similarity between the brands, asked Simon to work with him on a lookbook celebrating the Larose Paris and Missoni collab. Larose says that their process is very similar. Simon replied to his email. “Like us they select specific stores to distribute the product and are excited to work only with certain people, instead of doing more.” Simon says, “I initially thought he was going to bring cute boys in suits.” Larose said he wanted Simon to be featured, and Simon told him that his vineyard staff consisted of a 55-year-old Bosniak and a 60-year-old Sicilian. “And he said, okay, perfect!”
The lookbook that resulted, shot by Alexi Hobs, depicts a typical vineyard day. Larose and Simon are aware of the crossover appeal between artisanal, hype-y fashion (such as the Larose x Missoni collaboration) and buzzy natural wines. Is natural wine the next frontier of hypebeast culture? GQ reported last week that natural wine was the hot new thing in gastronomy. There is certainly enough youth energy to fuel the natural wine craze. Larose says that when she posts bottles of wine on Instagram, fashion kids ask, “What’s it?