Ever since discovering that their whites were to my liking and that they never failed to impress, when I encounter wine by La Sorga, I become ecstatic. It’s juicy like freshly squeezed fruit, but it doesn’t go down that easily like a super quenching sports drink. But the aroma of the soil, depth of flavor, and minerality make their wine frighteningly smooth and drinkable.

Antony Tortul, the producer, studied chemistry and strived to become a chemist. According to Natural Wine: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally that was published in 2017, it notes that “he maintains a controlled system with little room for error. Producing about 30 types of wine that totals approximately 50,000 bottles per year, all without additives and artificial temperature control. He is a perfectionist, who observes grape juice during fermentation under microscope to count and classify the yeast contained. Furthermore, he conducts research in his lab to pursue why human skin contact with grape skin facilitates fermentation in white wine making.” This all sounds like very logical approach, appropriate of someone who was an aspiring chemist. And the impactful labels, which appear to have nothing to do with the refined taste or the nature-rich farm, are so good.

I had the opportunity to meet Antony in person. In January of last year, he came to the first-anniversary event at Supply, a wine bar in Hatagaya. With his curly hair and luscious mustache, he could have passed off as a professor had he been wearing a shirt and slacks, but with his sensitive, artistic flair, he also looked like a bassist in a band.

A year later, I can’t imagine anyone taking a casual trip to Japan and having drinks in a packed bar…!

But I am sure that Antony is still busy peering through his microscope in his lab in the south of France. “Thank you for the delicious wine,” I toast, as I open a bottle of La Sorga that I had bought.

Antony at Supply January last year (Left).
A dreamlike moment when back-vintage bottles of La Sorga lined up at Supply.
A bottle of Maître Splinter 2019 that I picked up at a wine shop the other day. A label like a metal album cover. Delicious.

Written by Saya Kawada