Consumers and sustainable wine, the sommelier’s view

By Tobias Webb

Raymonds Thomsons, manager at Vincents, Riga’s most famous restaurant, is also European Sommelier of the year 2017. In this interview we discuss his views on sustainable wine, consumer trends, demands and a few other issues. Listen and enjoy.

Here’s some the things we talked about:

  • What being a Sommelier means in Europe today.
  • The wine and restaurant scene in Riga and how its evolving (appreciate there’s a niche audience for this bit).
  • How the tastes of younger consumers are evolving, towards sustainability.
  • Why all Sommeliers now must understand the nuances of biodynamic, organic and other ‘natural’ wines.
  • Why so many winemakers have a problem with ‘natural wines’ and if they are being unreasonable.
  • The emerging Latvian wine scene, and making wine 57 degrees north.
  • And lots of other issues.

About the author

Tobias Webb

Toby Webb is co-founder of Sustainable Wine. He is also founder of Innovation Forum, a leading platform for change in sustainable supply chains. He has spent 20+ years working in business and sustainability and has spent ten years teaching the subject at various London universities. He advises a number of companies large and small on sustainability. Businesses he has worked with include Patagonia, Interface, Bayer, SOK Group, Boots/Walgreens, Metro, Unilever, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser, Sainsbury’s, and many others. He co-authored the UK’s national CSR strategy for David Cameron from 2006-10. He has been organising events, advising, teaching writing, blogging and podcasting on sustainable business since 2001. His (non-wine) blog is at