Been missing wine festivals? MYSA is very excited to be partnering with RAW Wine to give away 4 tickets to their first-ever virtual wine festival! Fill out the form below (give it a moment if it doesn't immediately load) to be entered for a chance to win and check out the press release below for more information!

ALIVE 2021: Ground-breaking Virtual Wine Festival unveiled


alive! RAW Wine

A new, digital, two-day festival of ideas for the world of wine will be unveiled on 5th and 6th December. Organised by one of the most powerful women in the wine world (Drinks Business), France’s first female master of wine Isabelle Legeron, Alive! offers a truly special experience for anyone curious to understand more about the world of plants, without which wine would not exist.

Did you know that plants may well feel pain? That they may even see? or even that they may actually be intelligent? Did you know that trees not only suckle their young, but also the young of others? That plants may have a lot to teach us about community and cooperation? That money does actually grow on trees? That fungi are at the root of all plant communication? And that bugs are fundamental to any sense of place or terroir?

“More than just an online event, this is ground-breaking education about plants, what makes them tick, how they go about their business, and what, as people who care for them, we can do to help them thrive”, explains Isabelle. The talks are thought-provoking, many cutting edge, some literally mind-blowing, and have as their aim to cause a paradigm shift in how the wine world thinks about the plants, and their natural habitats, on which its very existence depends.

“Thanks to centuries of human-centric learning, most people, even those of us who work with plants on a daily basis, suffer what is known as ‘plant blindness’. Plants are at the very roots of what we do in the wine world, and the environments they inhabit are fundamental to their well-being and to the wines that they go on to produce. Plant blindness really matters to what we do, it’s just that most of us aren’t even aware that we’re not seeing properly. Alive! is our attempt to try to help our industry as a whole (both conventional and natural) open its eyes and look at things from a new perspective”, continues Isabelle.

Lead by biologists, farmers, growers, viticulturists, historians, environmentalists, science journalists, microbiologists, plant neurobiologists, even a philosopher - famed for his work on the ‘un-nerving of intelligence’ - working on issues at the intersection of plant biology and cognitive science, Alive! explores the remarkable, interconnected natural world and its impact on the living in wine. “The host of experts will help you get under the skin of plants and see the world from their perspective. Honestly, the answers are breath-taking. Get ready to blow your mind.”

Some festival highlights include:

  • Professor Suzanne Simard (author of the recently published Finding the Mother Tree, whose academic research inspired James Cameron’s creation of the Tree of Souls in Avatar) will be sharing stories from her lifetime spent among trees as well as results of her revolutionary research that has upended what we know about forests and the underground networks of plants

  • Merlin Sheldrake will be talking all things mushroom - sharing stories and findings from his recently published book Entangled Life to explain the fundamental role that fungi play in our lives as well as the lives of plants

  • Professor Paco Calvo (from the Minimal Intelligence Lab at the University of Murcia) will be discussing his jaw-dropping work on plant cognition and intelligence

  • Professor Liz Van Volkenburgh (from the Plant Growth Lab at the University of Washington) will be talking plant physiology, why she thinks plants are so amazing and sharing some of her extraordinary work on Plant Signalling & Behaviour (aka Plant Neurobiology)

  • Alessandra Viola (science journalist and co-author of Stefano Mancuso’s Brilliant Green) will be talking about the history of plant sciences - how & why we see them as we do - as well as her brand new, eye-opening book on the Rights of Plants

  • Professor David R. Montgomery (geomorphologist & author) and his wife Anne Biklé (biologist, avid gardener & author) will talk us through their research into soils, which gave birth to their fascinating trilogy of books Dirt - The Erosion of Civilisations, The Hidden Half of Nature and Growing a Revolution that have been described as “stunningly clever”, “compelling” and stories that “we cannot afford to ignore” by the likes of the Financial Times, New Scientist and Nature

  • Tony Juniper (one of the UK’s foremost environmentalists, who chairs Natural England and used to head up Friends of the Earth) is going to talk about why and how money really does grow on trees

  • Nicolas Joly (world-famous biodynamics expert & wine grower from the Loire) will be explaining how biodynamics can help build plant resilience in the face of climate change

  • Hiroki Fukuoka (grandson of the luminary Masanobu Fukuoka, author of the seminal The One-Straw Revolution) will be talking about their ground-breaking farm, sharing memories of his grandfather and expounding on the Fukuoka no-farming farming philosophy. This is an incredibly rare opportunity to hear from the Fukuoka family.

  • Claude & Lydia Bourguignon (soil microbiologists) will be talking about soil life and why it is critical for the expression of terroir, using their work in Chile as a case study.

  • Pedro Parra (terroir consultant) will be explaining why "rocks matter most".

  • Rosa Kruger (viticulturist & old vine conservationist) will be sharing her thoughts on what makes old vines just so special.

“We’re incredibly excited about the line-up and about the fact that Alive! is digital. It means we can connect with and share the knowledge of these incredible men & women with thousands of wine drinkers across the world. And even if you can’t watch live, all talks will be available for ticket holders to enjoy after the event as well. So join us!”, exclaims a delighted Isabelle.
To book your ticket, which offers exclusive two day access to all sessions, visit Festival goers can join in at any time on either day.
Date: 5 & 6 December 2021.
Festival start: 10 am EST (3 pm GMT|4 pm CET|7 am PST)
The festival has been curated by natural wine company RAW WINE, run by Isabelle Legeron MW.