A Sicilian Love Affair: Vino Di Anna

Anna, originally from Adelaide, fell in love with Sicily, and Eric, a wine merchant with a deep passion for natural wines, who shared her enthusiasm. The two then took on a winemaking journey amidst the breathtaking vistas of Mount Etna back in 2008. This dynamic duo's passion for crafting exceptional wines led them to a significant milestone in 2010 when they acquired their first vineyard. Nestled within this parcel of land were ancient Nerello Mascalese vines, a true treasure trove of Sicilian viticulture and the start of Vino Di Anna.

Image Source: https://vinskriblerier.wordpress.com/2021/08/08/radigg-rosato-fra-vino-di-anna/

Anna Martens:
Anna's love affair with winemaking spans over three remarkable decades. Originally from Adelaide, South Australia, her journey into the world of wine started with formal training as an oenologist. However, fate had other plans for her, and it all began with a serendipitous encounter in 2004.

Enter Eric Narioo, the man who would later become her husband and partner in wine. Eric was among the pioneering advocates of "natural" wines, a movement that prioritises minimal intervention and maximum respect for nature's rhythms in winemaking. Together, they embarked on an eye-opening expedition through some of France's most renowned wine regions, including Savoie, Jura, and the Loire Valley. Here, they witnessed firsthand how dedicated vignerons nurtured their land and crafted wines that sang with terroir-driven character.

Anna was utterly captivated by this journey, and with Eric as her guide and confidant, she found herself on an exciting new path—one that would lead her away from the world of Super Tuscans and into the heart of authentic winemaking. The pair shared a dream, a vision to discover their own piece of vineyard paradise, where they could put their ideals into practice.

Their quest eventually led them to the enchanting and relatively uncharted terraces of Mount Etna. The unique charm of this volcanic landscape cast an irresistible spell on them. It was here, in 2008, that they crafted their very first wine together—a wine that would mark the beginning of an extraordinary journey. "Vino di Anna Rosso" was born, a testament to their unwavering commitment to the art of winemaking and the terroir that had captured their hearts.

Image Source: Vino Di Anna

Eric Narioo:
Every love story has more than one tale. Meet Anna’s other half: Eric Narioo, a Frenchman whose love affair with wine has spanned what feels like an eternity. His journey through the world of wine has been nothing short of extraordinary. With an unyielding passion for the grape, Eric has dedicated his life to unearthing wines that sing of terroir and authenticity, sourced from the far reaches of the globe.

In the last fifteen years, Eric has donned many hats. Not only does he serve as the Managing Director of the highly successful UK wine importing juggernaut, Les Caves de Pyrene, but he's also the visionary behind a delightful constellation of natural wine bars and restaurants. Amidst all this, he found time to embark on a remarkable winemaking adventure alongside Anna.

Eric possesses a unique talent—a keen eye that can spot an abandoned vineyard from miles away. He's not afraid to push the boundaries and indulge in the art of experimentation. In fact, one could argue that this wine estate could very well have been named "Vini di Eric" if only it rolled off the tongue as melodiously in Italian.

Image Source: Le Caveau

La Squadra:
Anna and Eric aren’t the only ones behind the wonderful wines of Vino Di Anna. The "Vino di Anna" crew (or “squadra”) is a vibrant, passionate, and homegrown team. Meet Tonino, Nino, Valerio, Antonio, and Enzo— these familiar faces have been integral members of the Vino di Anna family for years. They're the backbone of the operation, working hand in hand with Eric and Anna.

Together, they lovingly nurture the vineyards, craft and bottle the wines, gather the olive harvest, and care for the resident bees. Each one of them plays a pivotal role in this close-knit, family-driven domain. They're the heart and soul of Vino di Anna.

Image Source: Hootananny Wines


The Wines:
At Vino di Anna, they craft an extensive variety of natural wines. Their vineyards are nurtured using organic methods and lots of loving care by the hands of dedicated workers. When the grapes are ready, they're delicately hand-picked.

The vineyards boast alberello, those charming bush vines, some of which have been around for over a century. The star of the red wines is the Nerello Mascalese grape, while the whites feature a blend of local favorites, with Grecanico and Carricante taking the lead.

When it comes to winemaking, Vino di Anna believes in keeping it simple and pure. They intervene as little as possible, letting natural yeasts work their magic, and steering clear of additives, fining, or filtering. As for sulfites, they use only a smidge, if at all. It's all about letting the grapes speak for themselves.

Image Source: KM20

1. Vino Di Anna Jeudi 15 Rosso 2020: Crimson red in colour, this wine has lifted aromas of red cherries, wild raspberries and delicate white flowers. The palate is juicy, medium bodied and flavoursome, with bright red fruit and underlying spice. The tannins are fine and austere. The finish is mineral and long, typical of wines from volcanic soils.

2. Vino Di Anna Palmento Bianco 2021: Palmento Bianco is a field blend of indigenous grapes, organically grown and hand-harvested on the north side of Mt Etna, Sicily. Pale straw in colour, this wine has pretty, floral notes of white blossom coupled with lemons. It is fresh and delicate on the palate with a textural mouthfeel that is in harmony with the sapidity and salinity of the wine.
Image Source: Bottle Wander