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Is the Future of Fine Wine Plant-Based?

According to Bloomberg, the plant-based foods market is expected to exceed $162 billion, or 7% of the global food market, within the next decade. In its latest report, UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s estimated that 25% of its customers will be vegan by 2025. This growing interest in plant-based diets is already impacting the way that fine wine is being produced and distributed.

What could a 100% plant-based food and beverage system look like?

This video is a recording of a live Insight Series event organised by ARENI on March the 2nd 2022, gathering four international experts and moderated by award-winning journalist Elin McCoy. You can also listen to this recording as a podcast on all major streaming services.

Major themes

  • What does plant-based biodynamics mean? How is this concept relevant for viticulture?
  • From tannins to fining agents, how do plants impact the winemaking process?
  • What is the latest development in plant-based wine packaging?
  • When fine dining goes 100% plant-based, what does this mean for the wine list?


We are pleased to introduce our panelists:

Mike Tango Bravo, Director, OpenVino, Argentina

Mike Tango Bravo is the owner of Costaflores, a boutique organic winery in Mendoza, Argentina, and the director of the OpenVino project, an open-source winery creating crypto-backed wine assets.

Driven by the desire to explore the many facets of sustainability, Mike’s latest project involves a ground-breaking concept for plant-based wine packaging.

Watson Brown, Wine Director, Formerly of Eleven Madison Park, USA

Originally from the Midwest, Watson joined the wine team at three-star Michelin restaurant Eleven Madison Park in 2017, after it was named World’s Best Restaurant on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best List. Through the early stages of the pandemic, he led a core group of volunteers to repurpose Eleven Madison Park to prepare and deliver boxed meals to first responders. He was named Wine Director of Eleven Madison Park in the Spring of 2021. At the same time, the Manhattan restaurant announced its re-opening with a 100% plant-based menu.

This webinar was recorded in March 2022. Brown has since moved to a new role.

Sebastiano Castiglioni, Owner, Querciabella, Italy

Born in Milan, Italy, Sebastiano Castiglioni is an award-winning entrepreneur, activist, investor, and advisor to businesses and governments. While his expertise spans the food, finance, wine, technology, life sciences, and art sectors, his greatest passion is animals. A vegan and animal rights activist, Sebastiano’s primary focus is on promoting the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle globally. In 2000, Sebastiano introduced a 100% plant‑based approach to biodynamics in Querciabella, his family winery in Tuscany.

Christophe Lavelle, Biophysicist and Researcher at CNRS, France

Christophe Lavelle is a research scientist at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France’s National Center for Scientific research), working at the National Museum of Natural History / Sorbonne University in Paris. He is an expert in biophysics, epigenetics and food science and teaches in many universities and professional schools. He is the author of more than 50 research papers and 15 books, including the “Handbook of Molecular Gastronomy: Scientific Foundations, Educational Practices, and Culinary Applications” (CRC Press, 2021).

A key conversation moderated by Pauline Vicard – Executive Director, Areni Global – and Elin McCoy – Journalist, Bloomberg, Decanter and The World of Fine Wine, USA

Elin McCoy
Elin McCoy

Elin McCoy is an award-winning journalist and author, focusing on the world of wine. She is a wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg News, where she writes for their global news wire, and is a columnist for Decanter magazine. McCoy’s most recent book is The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr. and the Reign of American Taste, which garnered international praise and has appeared in five foreign editions. She is also the co-author of Thinking About Wine.

ARENI Insight Series webinars are part of our annual research programme. These events provide an exclusive platform for international thought-leaders to share ideas and address global issues collectively.

For the podcast version of this recording, please click here. If you’d like to be notified of our next Insight Series event, please subscribe to the ARENI Global newsletter.