Currently Browsing: natural wine

Imagining the Impossible in Wine and Life

Looking out at the Monte Amiata and the Val D’Orcia at dawn in Tuscany, it feels impossible to imagine that in the 1940s this was a scene of bloodshed and war. I was starting to write about the Val D’Orcia for this week’s post, but that will be next week. Right now, it’s hard not […]

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5 Secrets for Buying Italian Wine

I’m often asked how I choose the wines I write about. The short answer is that I look for “identity wines”, the ones that tell a unique story of the place they come from, the vintage year, the grape varieties, the weather, the people, who make them… Italy has the most diversity of ideal grape […]

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Stella di Campalto: Soul, Soil and Biodynamic Brunello

Stella di Campalto is a steel magnolia possessing both charm and grit. Her soft-spoken elegance belies the determination and vision she needed to found an organic winery in 1995 and run it by herself without experience or training. For the first three years, still in her twenties, she lived with her two girls, three and […]

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Bar Mezzana: Pairing Modern Excellence with Italian Organic Wine in Boston

Within weeks of meeting Eleonora Costa of Crealto at Vini Dei Vignaioli, the natural Italian wine fair near Parma… I found her wine at the hip, new Bar Mezzana in Boston’s South End. It was listed among other natural Italian wines I’ve written about like Elisabetta Foradori Manzoni Bianco and Granato, Eugenio Bocchino Barolo, Arianna […]

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Natural Wine: In Defense of Culture, Agriculture + Freedom

In his provocative and fascinating book, Cultural Insurrection, Jonathon Nossiter explains how in the last ten years independent winegrowers making natural wine have “succeeded in staging a small, calm revolution”* As individuals without an institutionalized organization, they have spontaneously created a model for protecting culture, diversity and freedom. It works because a tiny alternative market […]

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When Italian Wine Is Like Trying On A New Pair Of Jeans

Any wine has structure (some combination of acidity, tannins and minerality) balanced out by softness (alcohol, glycerol and in sweet wines, sugar). Since Italian wine is made to go with food and often also made to age, it typically has more structure than softness. It’s like jeans that you have trouble zipping yourself into in […]

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Cavallotto: Tradition of Barolo Wines Made Naturally

On their historic estate in the heart of the Barolo zone, Giuseppe, Alfio and Laura Cavallotto use organic/natural viticulture and natural cellar practices. They are fourth generation in their family to make wine here, following their father, Olivio, and uncle, Gildo, who were outliers in the 1960s when they began researching and experimenting with these […]

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Senza Filtro (Unfiltered): Artisan Tasting Event at Foradori

On Monday, May 30, Elisabetta Foradori organized an extraordinary event with 65 artisan, [glossary_exclude] terroir [/glossary_exclude] winegrowers and their wines. Senza Filtro in Italian conveys the idea that the wines are immediate, vivacious, true expressions of place (terroir). To have those characteristics, the wines, by definition, have to be made “naturally”, but the event was […]

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Terroir Wine at Italian Wine Merchants NYC

Sergio Esposito founded Italian Wine Merchants with a group of investors in 1999 back when few Americans knew about small, independent Italian winegrowers making terroir wine. Eschewing the popular method of point scores, he told his clients about the people, who made the wine and the places that they came from. He displays only one […]

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Paolo Bea: Natural Wine Pioneer in Umbria

Paolo Bea’s family has been making wine just outside the walls of the Umbrian town of Montefalco for 500 years. He and his wife, Marina, began in the seventies with a philosophy that is becoming popular but was then radical: make wine with grapes…only grapes…and grapes grown with biodynamic agricultural methods at that. On the […]

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