NOT DRINKING POISON
NOT DRINKING POISON Podcast
Ep. 24: Sune Rosforth of Rosforth & Rosforth
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Ep. 24: Sune Rosforth of Rosforth & Rosforth

A chat with the pathbreaking and iconically dapper Copenhagen wine importer and restaurateur, who began importing what would become known as natural wine to Denmark back in 1994.
Sune Rosforth in the Kulturtårnet, November 2021. Photo: Jade Quintin.

There's a lot of interest for wine in Denmark. Since we haven't really been a wine producing country, [people are] eager to really go deeply down into what wine is. - Sune Rosforth

Sune Rosforth is the head of influential Denmark wine importer Rosforth & Rosforth, which he founded in 1994, initially concentrating on wines from the Loire valley. Half-Parisian on his mother’s side, he hitchhiked around France as a young man and struck up what became a lifelong friendship while working for the family behind Anjou estate Château de Passavant. Cellar visits Rosforth conducted in the region alongside Passavant’s François David would form the nucleus of his initial portfolio, which also notably included the celebrated Saumur-Champigny wines of Clos Rougeard.

Since the early 2000s, Rosforth has expanded his company’s portfolio to include many key natural wine estates in Catalonia, Italy, Chile, Georgia, and beyond. In 2012, spurred by conversations with Olivier Cousin, he began conducting regular shipments of wine from Brittany to Denmark via sailboat. To a large degree, Rosforth’s free-thinking work as an importer (and later, as a restaurateur in his own right) has accompanied - and helped shape - Copenhagen’s emergence as arguably the world’s premier nexus for natural wine and forward-thinking dining. Today, both Rosforth’s office-slash-dining-room-slash-wine-bar-and-wine-wholesaler site beneath Knippelsbro (colloquially known as “Under the Bridge”) and Den Vandrette, the nearby wine bar run by his wife Veronica, represent a spontaneous, informal, and thoroughly vital contrast to the city’s renowned fine dining scene.

I first met Rosforth in 2020 over lunch at the home of Gard vigneron Alain Allier. Later we were reintroduced in Copenhagen by then-Noma-sommelier Mads Kleppe, and I’ve since had several occasion in that city to enjoy Rosforth and Kleppe’s supreme hospitality. (This includes Rosforth’s own thoughtful and daring cooking at the office, where he whips up, with little advance warning, dishes like shrimp in tomato-shrimp broth, or sautéed sheep testicles.) We recorded this episode in October 2023 in the Kulturtårnet (or Culture Tower) overlooking Knippels Bridge, a site chosen more for its sublime view than its amenability to sound recording. Take a listen for Rosforth’s take on the future of Clos Rougeard; his memories of Catalonian vigneron Joan Ramon Escoda before the latter began making wine; and his heartfelt apology for the intensity of his fellow Danes in Copenhagen bike lanes.

Aaron


FURTHER READING & LISTENING

Ep. 25: Anders Frederick Steen
Ep. 26: Martin Ho of Pompette

Podcast Series III: Les Emigré(e)s - Expat Natural Winemakers in France, Part I
Podcast Series III: Les Emigré(e)s - Expat Natural Winemakers in France, Part II

Podcast Series II: Contemporary Paris Natural Wine, Part I
Podcast Series II: Contemporary Paris Natural Wine, Part II

Podcast Series I: Paris Natural Wine Lifers, Part I
Podcast Series I: Paris Natural Wine Lifers, Part II

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NOT DRINKING POISON
NOT DRINKING POISON Podcast
Natural wine culture, by Aaron Ayscough. Reporting from Paris since 2010. Roughly a third of this podcast is available for free. For access to the other episodes - and to heaps of wine interviews, profiles, translations, commentary, and more - subscribe to