Whether it’s your first time here, or you’ve been following us since 2009, it remains our distinct privilege to publish this website for you each day. Over the last 8 years we’ve published thousands of stories here at Sprudge, and in the meantime your support and readership has allowed us to develop a publishing perspective we think is unique in the world of food and beverage writing. Reverent, mirthful, in-depth, globe-spanning, at times a little weird, culture-forward, writer-powered, unafraid and always real, Sprudge brings you new stories each day from the exciting and progressive world of what’s known as “Third Wave coffee.” It’s reporting we hope serves to document what’s happening in coffee right now, and why it matters, while amplifying and championing the work of thought-provoking writers around the world.
Today we’re excited to announce a new chapter in the story of Sprudge, the independent digital publication you are reading at this very moment, right now. Long-whispered-of and in development since at least 2015, today we are turning on the switch to a new part of the Sprudge Media Network, and beginning the work of publishing daily content from the world of natural wine.
Yes, “natural wine”—like Third Wave coffee, it’s hard to define, and that is perhaps some of its magic. We’re talking about living wines from organic or Biodynamic vineyards, made with few or no chemicals in the winemaking process. Wines of thirst and elegance alike, from party punch to thought-provoking expressions of terroir. The real electric stuff, “celestial juice” in the words of Jay McInerney, wines that are piquant and moving and unforgettable. Wines that live up to the words of the great American natural wine importer pioneer Kermit Lynch, who calls it “a gift of nature, eked out of our earth, ripened by our sun, fashioned by man.”
Wines that confront stereotypes. Wines that are not fussy, or lame, or stuffy, or expensively inaccessible. Wines that make you rethink everything you knew about wine before.
Over the course of our travels producing Sprudge over the last decade, the founders and owners of Sprudge have fallen deeply in love with the culture and people who make the natural wine world what it is today, from London to Tokyo, New York to Oakland, Paris to Paso Robles. In it we see a world full of stories to tell, and through Sprudge’s reporting style we hope to offer a lens with which to do just that: to humbly, imperfectly, in our own way, show you what we think is cool and noteworthy about wine right now across the planet as we learn from experts and tell their stories.
That new website is called Sprudge Wine. You can set your browser to wine.sprudge.com and start reading it today, launching with 10 stories from New York City, the Willamette Valley, Mareuil-sur-Cher, Cincinnati, the Otway Ranges, a lovely little wine bar in London’s Charring Cross, and the list goes on. We’re on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well, all under the @SprudgeWine handle. Sprudge co-founders Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen are directing every aspect of this project, with help from our worldwide editing and contributor corps, plus many new faces along the way from the vinous world’s robust freelance writing culture. We have not taken secret money from some ghastly corporate wine Borg, or been bought out by Rupert Murdoch’s thirsty ghost. This is a wholly owned new project from the makers of Sprudge—childhood friends and publishing partners Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen, based in Portland, Oregon—and we’re so excited to share it with you.
The site is launching with writing from contributors around the world, chief among them the freelance wine writing heroes Rachel Signer (Terre Magazine) and Emily Dilling (Paris Paysanne), who join us from Paris and the Loire Valley, respectively, as well as Eileen P. Kenny, a longtime Sprudge contributor and minimal intervention winemaker based in Melbourne. Sprudge co-founder Jordan Michelman will be a regular contributor and editor to the site, following alongside his ongoing wine writing as a columnist for the Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon, and Zachary Carlsen will contribute content with an eye towards design and visual representation in the world of wine. Sprudge Media Network’s Features Editors Gail O’Hara (Kinfolk, SPIN, founder at Chickfactor) and Michael Light (Lucky Peach, McSweeney’s), and Associate Editor Liz Clayton (author of Where To Drink Coffee and Nice Coffee Time, contributor at Village Voice and Epicurious) are involved as well, and many more contributors—some familiar already to Sprudge readers—are set to join in on the project as it grows in the coming months.
If you already love natural wine—and there are a great many Sprudge readers for whom this is true—we want to be your new favorite bookmark, and we look forward to seeing you at upcoming events, parties, and podcast tapings. But if you’re shaking your head, or have never heard the term natural wine before, then in the coming weeks we’ll ask for just a few moments of your time (and perhaps a few eyeball emojis). You’ll see wine content appear from time to time on the Sprudge main page and across our social media channels, and new readers from the wine world will be discovering and engaging along with our coffee content as the project grows. The two worlds have heaps in common: they are among the purest beverage movements in the world right now; they both comprise a global network of passionate producers, importers, tasters and tastemakers; and they are both deeply delicious, capable in their own way of improving the brief time we’ve each been given on this earth, and maybe even changing the world along the way.
Third Wave coffee and natural wine: let’s drink them both together. We get to do this work because of your support and readership, and for this we’re truly in your debt. We hope you’ll join us as a reader for this new venture, and welcome our new wine readers into the coffee world with open arms. Thank you, and happy drinking.
Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen
Co-Founders, Sprudge Media Network
June 6th, 2017