In Conversation With: Vanessa Ferguson of Legs Wine

In Conversation With: Vanessa Ferguson of Legs Wine

Shining a spotlight on Liverpool business owner Vanessa Furguson, of Legs Wine. We discuss the business and how the brand came to come about.

First off, tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background? How did you get here?

I’m Vanessa. I grew up in Liverpool, I set up a business in Liverpool. I started Legs Wine during the first lockdown. So it’s been going for over a year now. I focus on organic, biodynamic, and natural wine with a larger focus on female producers.

Talk us through the Legs philosophy. How did it come to be?

The Legs philosophy is all about having good wine made by caring people, caring producers. It’s all about keeping it quite light and accessible for everyone. I don’t want it to be too serious. From day one, I’ve wanted to champion female producers as much as possible. That in turn gives me the motivation to push things further as a woman in the industry.

Why do you personally gravitate toward natural wines? What makes them stand out? Why should we be drinking them?

Natural wine refers to the way wine has always been made. That’s just how it’s always been. What we call ‘conventional’ wine actually came about after the natural wine processes. I look for producers that intervene as little as possible. So we don’t use any pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural yeasts. I look for producers that use grapes indigenous to their region, too. I just gravitate towards producers that have a story; they show how much they care for their land and how much they respect the wine that they make. These producers work day in, day out. They live and breathe their wine. So it’s very much a craft – like music, like art.

What have been the biggest challenges that come along with working for yourself? Any major lessons learned in your first year of business?

It’s definitely been a big learning curve, trying to motivate myself and tell myself that ‘I can do this; I can make my own way in an industry.’ It’s just about not comparing yourself to other people, staying focussed, and staying true to the things that you believe in as much as possible. Your journey is going to be different from the journeys of others. It doesn’t have to be as fast or as slow as anyone else’s either. Just try to stay focussed and carry one.

The world of wine is traditionally a stuffy one. Do you think it’s loosened up a bit in recent years? How has the wine scene changed over the last few years?

It absolutely has. Wine used to be such an exclusive thing. I didn’t really grow up with wine. I didn’t try any classy wines as I grew up. Natural wine speaks to me for the simple fact that it’s made by people who aren’t as stuffy and old-fashioned in their mentality. It’s much easier to get into wine when there isn’t that wall of pretence. Sure, you can get technical and go deep into flavour profiles if you want to – but it’s not a necessity. Personally, I’m not too strict on that kind of thing.

What advice would you give to people new to natural wine?

Celebrate the irregularities and idiosyncrasies of the wine. I think most people would agree that perfection is just boring, isn’t it? It’s the imperfections that make things special.

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Credit to Will Halbert, Essential Journal.

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