Field Notes: June 23, 2023
I have been struggling for almost two years to deal with the Sébastien Riffault situation. And must thank my colleagues for doing it for me.
For those of you who are not aware, in 2022, the Sancerre producer, Riffault, was accused of sexual harassment and assault. Several victims had come forward. Initially not mentioned by name—though everyone knew as there was only one “rock star” natural winemaker in Sancerre—winemaker Isabelle Perraud named him on her Insta page. Her Paye Ton Pinard is dedicated to outing misogyny in the wine world. Riffaut responded not to the allegations but with ire towards Perraud and a defamation suit. He never addressed the issues that had importers and wine drinkers dump him. Confoundingly, he won what seems to be a stab-in-the-dark defamation suit, albeit for a fraction of the damages he sought.