Al di lá del FiumeAl di lá del Fiume
Al di lá del Fiume, or “Beyond the River”, is a remarkable estate in Marzabotto, Emilia Romagna. Here, Dani, Gabri and Adriano tend three hectares of vines and an organic garden — they work as a team with the earth and sky with a natural, non-interventionist approach in both the vineyard and cellar. Al di lá del Fiume is organic and biodynamic, and the team allows the natural rhythms of nature to shape their wines, from grape to bottle. The state specialises in Grechetto Gentile, Barbera and Albana, and they make wine in all styles, whether they ferment in stainless-steel vats or clay amphorae.
Cantina FilippiCantina Fliippi
Nestled amongst dense, century-old woods, in the highest area in Soave, overlooking Veneto, Cantina Filippi does everything right — they grow old-vine Garganega and di Trebbiano di Soave with bio-friendly methods and vinify them with a hands-off approach. The grapes hang down from traditional Veronese pergolas in the estate’s fifteen hectares of verdant vineyards, resulting in fruit with superb purity. It’s in the cellar, a 14th-century building, where the magic happens. The grapes arrive fresh from the vineyards and are soft pressed on the bunch, fermented spontaneously undisturbed, and aged in steel. Filippi’s wines are never filtered or clarified — they’re as pure as wine gets.
Carolina GattiCarolina Gatti
Carolina Gatti is a natural winemaker in a region not known for its sustainable practices, Prosecco. It is here, with the famous Glera grape and the lesser-known Rabosso di Piave, where Carolina produces outstanding natural wine that looks like nothing else in the area. Carolina’s family estate comprises five hectares of vines in Ponte di Piave, but the Gatti’s also grow grains and raise free-range livestock, all in a balanced, self-sufficient micro-ecosystem. Carolina’s wines vary, but they’re all made naturally with little intervention. Perhaps the most intriguing is the estate’s sparkling wines, including their bottle-fermented Pet Nats — fizzy wines with a wild personality!
Castello StefanagoCastello Stefanago
Castello Stefango has taken shape through time, thanks to a continuous multi-generational effort. The estate is nestled in the cold hills of the Oltrepo Pavese in Lombardy, a region known for its world-class traditional sparkling wine. Antonio and Giacomo Baruffaldi craft elegant wine with 20 hectares of vines and a centuries-old castle, which they use as a cellar.
Pinot Grigio, Riesling Renano, Müller Thurgau, Traminer and a few others grow organically on the estate’s biological farm — they become unaltered wine, easy to recognise for its ripe fruit aromas and tight acidity. The intuitive approach to winemaking results in wine that never ceases to amaze.
Christina WinesChristina Wines
Christina Netzl is an enthusiastic winemaker and lover of nature. Christina grew up on her family farm in Carnuntum, Austria, where she still tends 28 hectares of vines. After studying oenology and wine management, this young winemaker learned the ropes of the wine trade in London, where she fell in love with natural wine and organic wine philosophies. Under Christina’s management, Christina Wines has been farmed organically since 2013, and the wines ferment with wild yeast since 2016. The estate is now certified organic. Christina experiments with native varietals, including Grüner Veltliner, Zweigelt and Sankt Laurent, amongst others.
Christopher BarthChristopher Barth
Christopher Barth is a small-scale, one-man operation in Rheinhessen, Germany. With seven hectares planted with Riesling, Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir), and Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Christopher is doing everything right. The estate is certified biodynamic and organic, the living wine comes to life thanks to wild yeast, a product of organic farming, and it’s not filtered or unfined. No or very low sulfites added make the natural wine a noteworthy example of the German terroir. The wine is vinified per plot, type of soil and variety and blended skilfully by the young winemaker.
Gaspare BuscemiGaspare Buscemi
Gaspare Buscemi has been making wine in Friuli-Venezia Giulia since 1973, according to mother nature’s wishes, using traditional methods in the field and winery. The skilled oenologist is a true artisan, and it shows in his handmade wine. He has been growing his own grapes since 2011, which has allowed him to see his spectacular wines be born from the vineyards to the hand-operated bottling machine in his shed. Pinot Bianco, Ribolla, Friulano, Merlot and other local varieties are paint in Gaspare’s palette, as he crafts red, white and sparkling wine with spontaneous fermentation and no additions — every bottle is unique.
Il FarnetoIl Farneto
Il Farneto lies right between Modena and Reggio Emilia on the Farneto plateau. With eight hectares of vines tended organically and biodynamically, this is an authentic garden, a source of ripe fruit that becomes fantastic wine. The uncommon Spergola grape is one of the most alluring, but Lambrusco, Marzemino and Sauvignon Blanc perform well. All the wines are bottled unclarified and unfiltered, and the sparkling wines are refermented in bottle — these are all stylistic choices that ensure the wine’s personality is unaltered. These wines are crafted from scratch with quality in mind and a little sense of humour.
Dino Briglio is the mastermind behind L’Acino, a sustainable estate with an innate sensibility to produce magnificent natural wine in Calabria, at a 650-metre altitude overlooking the Pollino National Park. The region is not known for quality winemaking, but that’s where small estates like L’Acino come in. Local grapes in L’Acino’s repertoire include Greco Bianco, Malvasia and Magliocco, a red varietal brought back from near extinction by the winery. They all become structured wines with intense flavour and aroma — they remain unaltered by modern winemaking techniques, as the wine is made with little to no intervention. These are the ripe flavours of Southern Italy, and they’re gorgeous.
La SegretaLa Segreta
Under the warm Umbrian sun, at the foothills of the Apennines, La Segreta is a family-owned estate and a community effort — when it comes to picking the grapes, everyone helps out. Today, La Segreta offers lodging and agro-tourism experiences; they make olive oil as well. Of course, what’s most appealing about the estate is the wine. The first vines were planted in 2008 at 300 metres. Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Pottarello, Santino and other local varieties turn into pure, natural wine under La Segreta’s team supervision. At La Segreta, the grapes are organic, and the wines have no additions — they’re faithful renditions of the blissful Italian terroir.
Malinga WinesMalinga Wines
Christoph Heiss is a well-known natural winemaker in Austria, known for his low intervention Rieslings made with organic farming — no chemicals added. Malinga is the winemaker’s new project, and it’s one he keeps close to his heart. The fruit for Mr Heiss’s Malinga wines comes from the best plots in his family’s 12-hectare estate Weingut Heiss, and it’s hand-harvested and fermented with wild yeast. The wine then goes through an extended maceration and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Marto WinesMarto Wines
German winemaker Martin Wörner, fondly known as Marto, makes natural wine with fruit from his three hectares of vines planted with Riesling, Dornfelder, Scheurebe, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and other local varieties. Martin is part of the new wave of winemakers in the Rheinhessen and a third-generation producer in the picturesque village of Flonheim. The wines here are made with love. Wild yeast fermentations ensure honest wines, and old barrels give the wine personality. This is living wine, and it offers a rich tasting experience — treat yourself to this young man’s handcrafted libations.
Podere CipollaPodere Cipolla
This extraordinary estate in Emilia Romagna is a lovely example of what small wineries can do when they produce wine naturally and infuse it with heartfelt passion. Denny Bini created this estate in 2003 with three hectares of vines, organically farmed and focused on local varieties, including Spergola, Malvasia, Malbo Gentil and the famous Lambrusco. The wines coming out of Pedere Cipolla’s cellars are cloudy and textural, but they’re complex as well, with endless layers of aromas over a breathtaking palate. The wines always ferment with ambient yeast, and the frizzante versions referment spontaneously in bottle. They use no additions or modern technology during the winemaking process, effectively showing a new side of the Lambrusco region.
Poderi CellarioPoderi Cellario
Fausto and Cinzia Cellario learned the ropes from their grandparents and parents, and they call the famous Langhe hills in Piedmont their home. Today, with 30 hectares of vines, the Cellario family has challenged what wine lovers thought they knew about wine from Piedmont. They went all-natural.
Pink, red and white wine, made with Moscato, Barbera, Dolcetto, Grinolino, Arneis and many other local grapes, is a pure expression of the prestigious terroir. Since Poderi Cellario grows their grapes organically and ferments them with indigenous yeast, this wine is unaltered, pure. The Cellario’s also have a sense of humour, making their wines fun!
Daniele Ricci has changed winemaking even in the traditionalist Piedmont, where folks don’t like to change their customs. Ricci certainly does things differently — he lets the land make all the calls; he listens to mother nature and react to it. There’s no mechanical harvesting or high-tech winemaking equipment — just good handmade wine. The estate specialises in a rare local grape, Timorasso, but it makes wine in all styles — all of it is fermented with spontaneous yeast with eco-friendly grapes and bottled unfiltered. Ricci has become a favourite of connoisseurs and sommeliers, but the wines are just as attractive to inexperienced wine enthusiasts.
Via del ColleVia del Colle
Renzo e Oriana founded this unique estate in 1982 with five hectares of vines in Emilia Romagna. The estate soon turned its efforts into making wine naturally with proven, old-fashioned grape growing and winemaking techniques. Today, Via del Colle is biologically certified.
Via del Colle makes wines with local Albana, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Bombino Bianco, Terrano and even some Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot and Moscato. The wine is spontaneously fermented, with no temperature-control and little intervention. The result, of course, is a beautiful wine that tastes like Emilia Romagna. Via del Colle is a pioneer in the area for natural wine, and it has an enormous fan base.
Vin de LagambaVin de Lagamba
Canadian Alana LaGamba is behind Vin de Lagamba and at the forefront of the natural winemaking revolution that has put the Rheinhessen on the map. Along with Martin “Marto” Wörner, Alana is one of the many young winemakers changing what we thought we knew about German wine. The wines are made with low intervention at the vineyard and winery, fermented with wild yeast, promoting skin contact maceration, and bottling them unfined and unfiltered. These are wines with personality. Alana’s enthusiasm is undoubtedly unmatched, and her wines are spontaneous — this is creativity, and you can taste it in the wine glass.
Villa PersaniVilla Persani
Thanks to Silvano Clementi’s dream of better wine, this exciting estate in Pressano, Trentino, came to life. He founded the winery in 2006 to make wine while safeguarding the environment and the region his family has called home for generations.
Persani champions the local Nosiola, Schiava and Souvignier Gris, among others, and uses the fruit to create wine fermented spontaneously with no additions. This is award-winning wine with personality and a unique sense of place, and it has astounding versatility at the table. Villa Persani makes still and sparkling wines, and they’re all worth seeking.
Weinbau Michael WenzelWeinbau Michael Wenzel
Wenzel is all about making living wines with personality, “adding nothing and taking nothing away.” This is the very definition of natural wine, with no or very low sulfites added and made with ambient yeast.
Weunbau Michael Wenzel calls Burgenland home, Austria’s source of fine red wine. Wenzel’s wines are not only of the highest quality, but they are also wild and free — raw wine at its finest. Of course, the vineyards here are tended by hand, with no chemicals added, as it has been done for 12 generations. Weinbau Michael Wenzel is not certified organic by choice; they do things right because it’s the only way they know.
Weingut IsegrimWeingut Isegrim
Klaus and Mira have been behind Isegrim winery since 1984. With 13 hectares of vines, all certified organic and sustainable, this is heaven for white and red wine lovers. The team behind this impressive estate says they don’t take things too seriously, but they’re some of the most committed winemakers at the foot of the Herrenberg, in Baden-Württemberg. Local and international varietals become natural wine with wild yeast fermentation, but the magic happens in the vineyards. Weingut Isegrim is all about vineyard management, with the utmost care for their home ecosystem. The hard work results in spectacular wine.
Weingut WeigandWeingut Weigand
“Wine is love,” says Andi, the 26-year-old winemaker behind Weingut Weigand. The estate in Franken, Germany, is certified organic, environmentally responsible and non-interventionist when making wine. The estate’s red, white and pet-nat are extraordinary, but more than contemplative, they’re fun to drink. This is living wine with no chemicals added and an exciting example of this century’s German wine. Of course, all the work is done by hand. No or very low sulfites are added to the wine, and it is bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is natural wine grown from a love of sustainability.
Weingut WeningerWeingut Weninger
Franz Weninger has taken this Austrian winery to a world-class level thanks to his commitment to natural winemaking and organic farming. The Demeter-certified biodynamic estate owns 28 hectares of vines, specialising in red grapes. Robust or elegant, youthful or age-worthy, this Burgenland winery produces red wine for every occasion, and the wine is good. This is also one of the few estates championing Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and others, along with local varietals for a wine catalogue worthy of any cellar and wine list. Austrian red wine is finally gaining recognition, as it is as good as the country’s finest whites.
Weingut Zum PrangerWeingut Weigand
You can always recognise Zum Pranger’s wines for the smiley face on the bottle. That’s the fun spirit behind this very serious project — the wine is made naturally with pain-staking traditional methods. The Austrian winery specialises in Riesling, but they work with local and international varietals beautifully.
Anna Gerland and Zane Berger are behind Weingut Zum Pranger. They bring their winemaking and culinary expertise to the table to craft low intervention wines on par with the best in the world. There’s magic in this small cellar, which is why the estate’s Smiley Face wines are loved by all.