If you ask most people in the natural wine world who’s making noteworthy wines in Burgundy, Dominique and Catherine Derain are sure to be one of the first producers that they’ll name- they’re quite legendary. We had them stocked on our shelves right from the beginning, on the recommendation of Catie, who was working in the kitchen then. The vineyards have been worked bio-dynamically since 1988 and they use no sulphur, not even at bottling.
I didn’t go to the Jura with that many plans. In fact, I hadn’t meant to go at all but it was so close to everything else and on the way from Beaujolais to Champagne. And some of my favourite wines come from there; how could I not? So when I stayed with the Foillard’s in Beaujolais, it occurred to me that one of the people who I would really like to meet was Pierre Overnoy. The wines are rare and extremely hard to get. Maybe not as expensive as some but legendary. So Alex helped me organise a visit, which coincided with a lunch with some Brazilian winemakers and importers which I was invited to join, and gratefully accepted.
I often get asked how we buy our wine at Clever Polly’s. We try to have an interesting range that showcases wines from around the world and Australia, all from small producers so I guess that for a lot of people, they must wonder how we come across so many unusual things. It’s a lot of work, sometimes we’ll try hundreds of wines in a week trying to make sure that we get a good selection. When first putting the wine list together for Clever Polly’s, I made it my mission to try as many different wines as possible...