[Exclusive interview]: Ruud Karsdorp, Delinet Ltd / Levin Wines, London & Hong Kong

Levin Wines has been organically certified since 2011, its production now 100% organic through vineyard and winery (i.e. covering every stage of growth and production combined), with an almost exclusive focus on Sauvignon Blanc, but also a little inclined towards Gamay (Beaujolais).


Q:             How did Levin Wines start?

A:             Levin Wines grew out of David Levin MBE, the well-known award-winning hotelier and restauranteur(founder of the five-star Capital Hotel, The Levin Hotel, Michelin-starred Greenhouse Restaurant and The Capital Restaurant in London, amongst others) and his passion for matching the highest standards of the food he offered with a wine that completely complemented it.


Q:             What was the inspiration for going organic at Levin Wines?

A:             In his quest for the ‘perfect Sauvignon Blanc’, the realisation dawned that only an organically produced wine could provide the purity and simplicity of taste David sought so passionately.


Q:             How was the organic production process developed?

A:             Having begun in 1986 bygrowing grapes in the Loire Valley to produce private label wines for his restaurants, David was inspired by visits to Australia to use new world technology to capture this old-world terroir, and so had a winery designed in South Australia and built on his Loire Valley estate in 2001. Today, Levin Wines exports to 14 countries with an expansion of production to 150,000 bottles per year – all produced to European-certified standards of organic production.


Q:             How is Levin Wines different, in its organic offer?

A:             As Hong-Kong based manager, I believe the exclusivity of Levin Wines in terms of its marketplace and who it sells to, makes for its own particular niche that can continue to be exploited – that is, right at the top end of the market.


Q:             The mainland China wine market is difficult for white wines, compared to the popularity of red wines. So for a niche, organically-produced white wine, it might appear ‘off-limits’ i.e. too difficult to sell to?


A:             I don’t believe so, as long as there are the luxury hotels and Michelin-starred hotels in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, there will be growing demand for a product as high-quality as the Sauvignon Blanc range offered by Levin Wines.