Location: St Jean De Fos, Languedoc, France Vineyards extension: 13 acres - 5 ha (of 25 acres - 10 ha) Vine growing: Biodynamic, Organic certified, (Vin Natur member) Wine making: Natural (Vin Nature member) Grapes grown: Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Cinsault, Syrah, Merlot, Carignan People at the winery: Eric Gabrielson, Frances Garcia
“We produce Ecocert certified organic and natural wines. We proudly practice a low intervention style of winemaking and are part of the Vin Natur movement that is introducing a new generation of enthusiasts to the time-honored tradition of natural wines. Our wines are artisanal, fermented with indigenous yeasts and not filtered or fined. The results are exquisitely vibrant, aromatic, and distinctive wines that defy the shortcomings of modern assembly line wine production. These are, in short, wines as they were always meant to be.
The philosophy that guides Mas Zenitude is simple: “Work with the natural energies that create and maintain life.” We treat the soil as a living organism, one that we nourish, indulge, and support in supreme harmony with organic and biodynamic viticulture practices:
We do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizers
Our grapes are handpicked, sent to fermentation tanks by simple gravity, and pressed according to traditional methods
No additives or SO2 (sulfur dioxide) are ever used” Eric & Frances
Location: Cazzago San Martino, Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy Vineyards extension: 22 acres Vine growing: Biodynamic (certified Demeter, Organic certified, Vegan certified, Renaissance Des Appellations member) Wine making: Natural (Renaissance Des Appellations member) Grapes grown: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir People at the winery: Silvia and Federico Stefini (principals), Giulio Braga, Marco Benedini (winemaker)
On the top of Santa Giulia hill, beside the cluniac church of the same name, the glorious eighteenth century villa Palazzo Cazzago is home to our winery. The villa is part of ancient land belonging to the noble families Bettoni and Cazzago. The land includes approximately 15 hectares of hillside in Cazzago San Martino, Franciacorta.. The name 1701 was chosen to recall the first vinification of our “brolo”, a 4 hectare vineyard framed by XI century walls. 1701 Franciacorta is a 10 ha organic certified winery. We have recently received Demeter certification, the first and only certified biodynamic producer in the Franciacorta region. As members of Renaissance des Appellations we follow biodynamic farming methods - an approach which excludes any chemical intervention. It is ultimately a philosophy of life, about working closely with the vine, understanding and respecting its life cycle until the point when bottled it can fully express its vitality and character and above all the authenticity of its terroir. From our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards, we produce Franciacorta Brut, Satèn and Rosé and a Vintage Dosaggio Zero in exceptional years. Our range also includes Sullerba, a semi sparkling Chardonnay 'sur lie'. Federico & Silvia
Location: Marsala (TP) Sicily, Italy Vineyards extension: 28 acres Vine growing: Natural - organic certified since 2014 Wine making: Natural - non interventionist Grapes grown: Catarratto, Zibibbo, Grillo, Perricone (Pignatello), Nero D'Avola People at the winery: Nino and Angela Barraco, Paolo Parrinello
"...to me natural wine is a wine that has been made without using of chemicals and comes from vines untouched by chemicals... traditional wine is the one that grandpa was making and you continue to do... natural wine is a step further; there is the knowledge that you are not just using chemicals as conscious action that brings life into your territory and acting accordingly... I am not interested in making the perfect wine but to make a wine typical of its land and territory where its imperfections are part of the beauty in it.." Nino Barraco
Nino Barraco winery was created by Nino (Antonino) Barraco and his wife Angela back in 2004. The winery is based in the area of Marsala, westernpart of Sicily, an area of enormous potential, even though way too often from that region, there are wineries devoted to mass producedwines. Nino adventure started some years before, while he was in Palermo as a political science student; in his spare time he startedmaking wine and sold it to a little but quite famous bistro' and wine bar there. That wine was so good that became immediately a cult for the locals. Barraco always focus was to make wine in a natural way. Grapes used are the indigenous of the area: Grillo, Catarratto, Zibibbo for the whites and Nero D'Avola and Pignatello aka Perricone for the reds. The new cellar has been completed in time for 2015 harvest and recently Nino has been able to purchase some vineyards that will be strategic to even more unique wines from him. About 40 thousands bottles are made today.
Giancarlo Burlotto - Cascina Massara
Location: Verduno Piedmont, Italy Vineyards extension: 35 acres - crus Massara, Monvigliero Vine growing: Non Interventionist, practicing organic, EISA Sustainable Wine making: Non interventionist- practicing organic Grapes grown: Favorita, Pelaverga, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo People at the winery: Giancarlo Burlotto, Gianluca Burlotto
“The dream of our family has always been to take Barolo all around the world. At the beginning of the '900 Andrea Burlotto has begun to make it real with a passion for the vineyard and the Barolo that was sold in Piedmont and in the North of Italy. In the early decades of the century thanks to his work our roots are bound more and more to the territory of Verduno area suited for the production of Barolo. Four children have followed him in this adventure: Gian Carlo, Francesco, Giacomo e Sergio. We continue to believe in this precious fruit of the Langa, which comes from the Cru Massara, located in the Commune of Verduno, one of the best cru in the Barolo district.’ (Giancarlo Burlotto).
In the 1970s Gian Carlo Burlotto specializes in work in the cellar, while the brothers follow the vineyards. ‘We start to make wine under the name Andrea Burlotto. Thanks to their work, our Barolo continues to play an essential role in fairs, tasting events and in the new international markets.’ In 2013 Gian Carlo Burlotto purchased the cellar and several vineyards, with his son Gianluca he has continued the story of the family with the brand Cascina Massara, an emblematic name with a strong tie to the Barolo wine.
Location: Lu di Monferrato, Alessandria, Piedmont Italy Vineyards extension: 25 acres on three Bricchi (hills) Vine growing: Sustainable Agriculture (EISA) Wine making: Non interventionist Grapes grown: Monemvasia , Cortese, Grignolino, Barbera, Bracchetto, Freisa, Pinot Noir, Merlot People at the winery: Arnest (Ernesto), Paolo, Pierangelo Casalone, Simone Berra. Giovanni Bailo consultant.
"Our family is making wines here since 1700... Myself I worked since 1940's. We grow in our three bricchi (hills Bricco Santa Maria, Bricco Morlantino and Bricco San Benedetto) local varieties... some of them almost totally disappeared as is the Monemvasia bianca that ourancestors first brought and that I work for over 50 years. It is a grape that makes outstanding wines but no one wanted to grow it anymore... just too much work and you cannot blend it with anything, so people took the easy way!" L'Arnest (aka Ernesto Casalone).
One of the oldest wineries in Monferrato, Casalone started operations officially in 1734. The first bottles of wine were sold in the market in 1776! Land and vineyards extension are pretty much the same from then and the family still controls completely their production. This makes them one of the top wine experts in dealing with local grape varieties from Piedmont such as Cortese, Barbera, Freisa, Grignolino and international varieties such as Pinot Noir, which was brought in Piedmont by French winemakers over two centuries ago. They also are famous in Italy for growing Monemvasia, an old clone of the Greek malvasia, imported by the Venetians in XIII Century in Italy and to literally save it from extinction.
Cosimo Maria Masini
Location: San Miniato (PI), Tuscany, Italy Vineyards extension: 35 acres Vine growing: Biodynamic certified (Demeter), Organic certified, Vegan certified, (Renaissance Des Appellations member) Wine making: Natural (Renaissance Des Appellations member) Grapes grown: Sangiovese, Sanforte, Bonamico, Vermentino, Malvasia Bianca, Trebbiano Toscano, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc People at the winery: Francesco De Filippis, Ivonne Heinzer, Maria Paoletti Masini"
“...In biodynamic we believe that the beautiful process as the creation of humus, it's also influenced by the consciousness of those who care the farm life. Today my beautiful task is to harmonize the various aspects of the estate in which we live with its historical roots, the constant effort toimprove soil fertility, modern agronomic knowledge and the continuous and constant communication on socials media; all of this together withfriends with whom I share the work in the fields, in the cellar and "on the road" as well as with people from all over the world, coming to discover theworld of biodynamic and natural wines." Francesco De Filippis Agronomist and Wine Maker.
Cosimo Maria Masini / Tenuta di Poggio is a winery based in San Miniato Tuscany with 35 acres of vineyards and 11 of olive trees. At Cosimo Maria Masini grapes ripen and wines mature in loving harmony with nature, a unique bond that brings out their distinctively unique character. They embraced biodynamic agriculture to ensure that the wines benefit from the energy and strengths that abound in nature, aiding the plants to be unique ambassador of their terroir. Since 2005 all the practices of winemaking are the most gentle and not interventionist. The pressing is made by foot stomping, being that the most natural way of pressing the grapes, absolutelyno inoculation, ageing in concrete vats and casks. Varietals grown include indigenous grapes like Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia Bianca, Sangiovese, Canaiolo and the rare Bonamico and Sanforte. At the winery they are also growing Vermentino, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon
Location: Arce, FR, Lazio , Italy Vineyards extension: 20 acres Vine growing: Biodynamic (certified Demeter, Organic certified, Vegan certified, Renaissance Des Appellations member) Wine making: Natural (Renaissance Des Appellations member) Grapes grown: Maturano Bianco and Nero, Lecinaro, Capolongo, Pampanaro People at the winery: Marco Marrocco (winemaker)
“I produce biodynamic wines from lesser known varieties such as Maturano Bianco , Capolongo and Pampanaro (whites) and Lecinaro and Olivella, Maturano Nero (reds).”
Location: Castellina Marittima (PI), Tuscany, Italy Vineyards extension: 10 acres Vine growing: Permaculture, Biodynamic, Organic, Vegan certified, Wine making: Natural Grapes grown: Vermentino, Sangiovese, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc People at the winery: Andrea di Maio , Stephan Klasmann, Manfred Klimek
“Kappa is a 10 acres vineyard facing the sea. The soil is clay/chalk, full of fossils shells, alluvial and silex/chalk. Fermentation is spontaneous with natural grape yeasts. The extraction process is slow and careful, without clarifying, filtering or stabilizing. We work the vineyard with horses and use biodynamic and permaculture methods in the cultivation of the vines.” Andrea Di Maio
Vineyards extension: 99 acres Vine growing: Organic certified (since 1976!) Wine making: Non interventionist - organic Grapes grown: Trebbiano di Abruzzo, Pecorino, Montepulciano People at the winery: Donatello and Piera Jasci.
‘We started growing organic grapes back in the 70's... and we were one of the first of the to get certified. My mom was getting sick and they found out that it were the treatments used in the vineyards the cause of that. We changed everything overnight and there was no option to go back for us. We never regretted that decision! We live in such a beautiful place where sea and mountains are close by and we want our wines delivering such purity.’ Donatello Jasci
First... please do not confuse Jasci aka Donatello Jasci with Iasci & Marchesani;. Same region different wineries (distant cousins, very distant ways to make wines) I know it can be confusing, Now about Donatello. They have been among the first to embrace organic agriculture and since end of the 70’s, Jasci wines have been certified organic by the Soil and Health Association, which guarantees the organic production of their grapes in the Colli in Vasto and the Masseria Martina in Pollutri, as well as all the winemaking processes.
They also focus on their own varieties without mixing them. For examplethat in the early 90’s there were just 14 hectares of Pecorino vineyards planted between Abruzzo, Umbria and Lazio. Over one third of those (and the oldest one) were Jasci Donatello ones.
La Pietra Di Tommasone
Location: Lacco Ameno (NA), Ischia Island, Campania, Italy Vineyards extension: 17 acres Vine growing: Non interventionist - organic non certified Wine making: Non interventionist - natural fermentation, no enzymes added. Temp control and SO2 on some wines. Grapes grown: Biancolella, Forastera, Fiano, Falanghina, Piedirosso, Montepulciano, Aglianico People at the winery: Lucia Monti, Antonio Monti.
'...Our winery is small but we do everything here... we have our vineyards that we care every day. My motto is to make less but make better... I want typicality. Fermentations are spontaneous. We use stainless then for some wines we age them in chestnut casks as tradition requires.'..Lucia Monti
La Pietra is an historical Ischia island winery that ceased to operate when Tommaso Monti aka Tommasone died in the 80's. Antonio, Tommaso's son at the time was in Germany running a small hotel and restaurant. In 2000 he decided that was time to spend his efforts on the land and vines he inherited; La Pietra was back in business as Tommasone. Lucia, Antonio's daughter, took over the operation in the vineyards and in the winery since 2009. Born in Germany, she studied winemaking and practiced working in the Mosel. Passionate about the land of her family she won the respect and admiration of the locals. The vines (total extension is 17 acres for a production of almost 60 thousand bottles) are mostly trained with a single Guyot trellis system with a maximum of 5 buds per vine. That ensures to get the best quality bunches from the vines. Some older vines are alberello "bush trees". The altitude (over 600ft), the soil - the typical "tufo verde" green tufa - a siliceous calcareous and friable rock rich of phosphorus and potassium, coming from volcanic eruptions, plus clay sediments on the top. The constant presence of some breeze and - of course given the position - of the sun, are all indication of high potential wines. Grapes grown are Biancolella, Forestera, Fiano and with latest acquisition Falanghina for the whites; Piedirosso, Aglianico and Montepulciano for red wines.
Location: Ghemme (NO) Piedmont, Italy Vineyards extension: 20 acres - crus Cavenago, Rossini and Carelle Vine growing: Non Interventionist, practicing organic, EISA Sustainable Wine making: Non interventionist- practicing organic Grapes grown: Erbaluce, Nebbiolo, Uva Rara, Vespolina People at the winery: Marco Arlunno
All our wines are produced by grapes from our vineyards without use of pesticides. We use viticulture practices that are in line with sustainability; grass mowing, no systemic or pesticides, we monitor harmful insects and we trap them only if absolutely necessary. In that case we act by releasing insects that are antagonistic to the ones that are spreading out so we can rebalance the environment. At the cellar we work with native yeast without using any winemaking enhancer (albumin gelatins, arabic gum, enzymes and all modern tricks). We either use some stainless for first fermentation but mainly we prefer to have the wines in casks (no barriques or tonneaux) so they can balance themselves over time. We avoid sulfite use. We prefer to use during racking and at bottling a gas like argon or nitrogen, which are creating a barrier to oxidation but they do not get into the wine.’ Marco Arlunno
Miru’ name dates back to 1500... in old writings of that era, a winemaking family in Ghemme area was mentioned from the fraction Arlunno, called Miru’. Most recent story is from 900; grandpa Pietro was well known winemaker; then the industrialization and twoWorld Wars gutted demand to almost nothing. His son Eugenio dedicated his life to restore viticulture. In the 90’s Bruna Zecchinato has raised the bar of what this amazing producing area has become. In 2009 her nephew, Marco Arlunno, took over. 20 acres (8 hectares) are now owned, including some of the most precious vineyards in Ghemme area like Cavenago, Rossini and Carelle. Grapes are Nebbiolo, of course, as well as Vespolina and Uva Rara for reds and Erbaluce for whites. Traditional winemaking means no shortcut is taken. Their Ghemme takes 8 to 10 years to be released (Riserva even more). It is worth the wait.
Location: MONTEFALCO (PG), UMBRIA, Italy Vineyards extension: 66 acres Vine growing: Non interventionist - organic non certified Wine making: Non interventionist - organic non certified Grapes grown: Trebbiano Spoletino, Grechetto, Ciliegiolo, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Sagrantino People at the winery: Mario Napolini, Tiziana Schettini.
'We are one of the historical wineries of Montefalco. Now there are many but the vineyards location is crucial to make great wines particularly when you make a wine like Sagrantino. We use big casks, manual labor and time, no shortcuts.' Mario Napolini Mario Napolini farm is located in the heart of the wine producing area of Montefalco. An 11th century manuscript discovered in the Abbey of St. Maria in Turrita, records vine growing in this part of Montefalco as early as 1088. The Napolini family has been growing grapes on the sunny hills to the south of Montefalco and producing high quality wines for centuries. The farm, which covers an area of about 66 acres, produces prestigious D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. Montefalco wines: Montefalco Rosso D.O.C., Secco (dry) and Passito (dessert wine) Montefalco Sagrantino D.O.C.G. , andSagrantino plus Grechetto Grappa. Wine production also includes: Grechetto Colli Martani D.O.C. (from an indigenous Umbrian vine), red, white and rose' wines of Monte IGT, and an excellent D.O.P. extra virgin olive oil. Vineyards face east on clay soils, with 3-4,000 vines per hectare. All production is respecting natural wine making practices with minimal use of sulfites or copper. When the grapes are perfectly ripened, they arepicked by hand and pressed. Vinification and ageing are done respectively by using stainless steel and concrete tanks and French and Slavonianoak casks. The wine rests in bottles for months so that its full potential can be appreciated.
People at the winery: Walter Loesch, Paolo Leonardi, Jean Natoli
“When we arrived here in 1987 at Arcoiris we knew nothing about vines and wines. We knew about beekeeping, we knew about organic agriculture and permaculture especially. But we had vines, we sold grapes to the local cooperative for nothing. In 1993 we stopped also to fertilize. Only thing we do is managing the grass; it grows by itself; before harvest we mow and press it over; it sows itself. We use everything here. We have 3ha or orchards (apples, cherry and prunes) , 3ha of olive trees, 13ha for growing beans and different grains varieties, 8ha of woods, delight for the birds...”
Reserved in character, Walter is for sure one of the very first natural winemakers of Italy. He does not like that definition because is way too reductive for what he does. His core is to have his farm as a perfect and self sustaining micro system. Their wines are expression of a care which is not constrained by time in any ways: they take long to get ready but they will be great to taste for a very long time.
Location: Dozza(BO) Emilia Romagna, Italy Vineyards extension: 70 acres Vine growing: EISA - sustainable / lutte raisonne’ Wine making: non interventionist Grapes grown: Albana, Pignoletto, Sangiovese People at the winery: Marco Branchini
”We don't like stories even if we would have a long one to tell you. We just make wines paying attention to the natural balance of our plants, without forcing their biological rhythm and physiological health. All processes in the vineyard and in the cellar are made by us on the same principles. We carefully take care of the grapes we produce and use what we think is right to get healthy high quality wine.' Marco Branchini
The winery is located in Dozza, in the center of Emilia Romagna region. It covers 70 acres cultivated with vines. In 1858 the Branchini family commenced its agricultural activity on these lands. Since then, the Estate continues to be managed by the family which has, over the years, refined its techniques in order to continually improve the "Character" of the territory's wines. The vine growing operations are geared to avoid "forcing" the biological process and to maintain the physiological balance of the wine itself.
Terre Di Gioia
Location: Ala di Trento (TN) Sequals (PN), Italy Vineyards Extension: 200+ acres Vine Growing: sustainable agriculture (EISA) Wine Making: sustainable procedures. Grapes grown: Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Mueller Thurgau, Pinot Nero, Marzemino, Refosco People at the winery: Albino Armani, Egle Capilupi
'Our family started farming in 1607...The common denominator of our wineries are the Alps that surround us. It is a territory that we love and protect. We work our lands with sustainable practices so we can give to future generations the ability to enjoy at least what we have and hopefully more.' Albino Armani
If you are in the business of making wines in NorthEast of Italy you certainly know Albino Armani as THE MAN. He owns and grows responsibly vineyards and make wines from Trentino to Veneto to Friuli, some under his own name some under the name of the historical winery name. The common denominator for his vineyards is the presence of the Alps either because the vineyards are in the mountains or very close by. For centuries (business started in 1600!), the Armani family has continued to expand its vineyards into three different regions: Trentino-South Tyrol, Veneto, and Friuli. The wines produced in these three regions are always made in respect of the tradition.
Location: Loc. Apricena, Gargano (FG) Puglia, Italy Vineyards extension: 110 acres (farm 173) Vine growing: Biodynamic (certified not Demeter, Organic certified, Vegan certified, Renaissance Des Appellations member) Wine making: Natural (Renaissance Des Appellations member) Grapes grown: Bombino, Fiano Minutolo, Greco, Falanghina, Nero Di Troia, Negroamaro, Primitivo People at the winery: Valentina Passalacqua, Andrea Di Maio“.
'I live as I longed for! ... I believe my wines reflect my temper both in substance and in form. They are strong, firm, authentic, disheveled, without tricks, pleasant and long-lived wines. They are able to stimulate memories as those related to the stones which characterized those lands or related to the sea breezes which coming from the sea cooling the summer nights; or those related to the wind which dry plants!” Valentina Passalacqua
Valentina Passalacqua farm is located inside Gargano National Park in Apricena. The family owns the property since beginning of 1900. The area was considered too difficult to grow anything in the past and used just for cattle. The family fortune was that they were actually sitting on one of the most precious marble mine. They started then working the soil ending up with 70 hectares (173 acres) of usable farm surface, 48 (110 acres )of which planted with vines. The vines are at 200 m (600 ft) of altitude; the soil being very rocky is also quite rich in mineral and it does not retain water. The sun exposure is optimal as well as the ventilation... In 1999 the winery obtained organic certification and from that to biodynamic, which has been a focal point of Valentina Passalacqua work. All wines are fermented on their own yeast in the cellar (naturally cool as is excavated underground). Wines are never clarified or filtered.