EXCLUSIVE Simon Woolf Interview on MORE Natural Wine.


Well, we started before Covid, but it was a side project that took years to develop from idea formation to website execution... and as you may expect, Covid killed our old business (called Oooh, Berlin!) and boosted MORE Natural Wine to new heights... but it did not come without major challenges, jealousy from the natural wine industry, burnouts and problems from the above that almost caused the death of the whole business...

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW… on us, our background and everything MORE Natural Wine 👈

When we launched we did something new that no-one else had done in natural wine.

And with this… we saw lots of jealousy and tbh, MANY INDUSTRY HATERS 😕

It took a serious mental toll on us. Having set up everything ourselves and later launching into covid boom sales often sending 2000+ bottles a week, we also had major burnouts causing us to close the shop for months at a time, all whilst haters gossiped we were so rich we could afford that (quite the opposite).

At some point we had industry in Germany wanting to have an actual intervention with us as our wine marketing was “too loud” and we are the worst thing to happen to natural wine ever, making it “too accessible”. 😶‍🌫️

There is a dark side to the natural wine industry… you can read more in the interview 👇

But… amongst the struggles we also had love ❤️ from you. This kept us going alongside our creative ambition to grow and evolve MORE NATURAL WINE into something even greater…and there is more to come this year!

We have previously had requests for interviews. We always turned them down…until now, as @simonjwoolf , a wine journalist, writer and author we very much respect contacted us asking for a tell-all about how we started and the challenges we had.

We could not think of a better person to publish our FIRST EVER INTERVIEW, which is now live on themorningclaret.com exposing how we set up our business, the hate we got on launching from some of the natural wine industry and how the toll of it all almost ended MORE Natural Wine … 😮

Read now with a free trial of his excellent newsletter (email signup) for us to explain all about our backgrounds, the launch, the hate, the love.

Warning: it gets pretty deep…

Here's a small snippit..

Retail Envy

By late 2020, Chris and Anika were selling more wine than ever before. Even when an importer had their own online operation, MORE Natural Wine was out selling them.

CF: “It got to the point where some of our partners were saying ‘you’re selling too much wine, we’re not selling it to you any more’. They were kind of jealous.”

Much of the wine industry misunderstood the reason for MNW’s month long closure. The conjecture was that Chris and Anika had made so much money that they could afford to close. The real reason - Chris’s burnout - was understandably kept under wraps. Jealousy from other parts of the industry intensified. Then one day Chris had an encounter at MNW’s warehouse space.

CF: I remember bumping into someone [another importer/wine bar owner] in the warehouse that we shared. And she said that she wanted to have a sit down meeting with us and all of the other importers in Germany because they don’t agree with what we’re doing to natural wine. I said what do you mean?”

Her response was astonishing: “You’re too loud, it’s something really artisanal and you’re making it really bad, you’re the worst thing to happen to the natural wine scene.”

AF: “She literally said natural wine shouldn’t be this accessible. She was part of a group of maybe four importers that we knew didn’t like us. They wanted to have an intervention with us because we were selling too much wine.”

The hatred started building from other importers. The sentiment was “we’ve been in natural wine for years. How dare you come in without the knowledge and experience that we have and sell so much wine.”

AF: “For me it was really hard. It gave me a lot of mental breakdowns, how people came for us. We had so much love from our customers, and we had so much respect for the importers. But they were really out for us.”