Situated in one of the meccas of Italian wine culture, it is no surprise that Florence has a great selection of wine bars and bottle shops to choose from. What you may not know is that Florence has a thriving natural wine community. Natural wine, though without an official global definition, generally refers to wine made from vineyards grown organically or biodynamically and in which nothing is added or taken away during the vinification process (except sometimes a small amount of sulfites at bottling.) Another way of thinking about it is that it’s the way wine was made a century ago, before chemical agriculture. Natural wine not only provides the opportunity to support small, sustainably run wineries, but it also opens the doors to trying a lot of amazing new wines. From different interpretations of well-known grapes alongside lesser-known native varietals, natural wine really highlights terroir. Here in Florence, there is a large selection of bottle shops, wine bars and restaurants that focus on natural wines. Not an exhaustive list in the least, below are some of my favorite natural wine spots in the city for every occasion.
Vineria Sonora (via degli Alfani 39R) is your friendly neighborhood natural wine and grooves bar and bottle shop. This natural wine bar has not only an excellent wine selection, but also an impressive record collection. Pre-Covid they hosted DJ sets and tastings with local producers. Go here for an extensive natural wine selection (from a zippy local pét-nat to an elegant Alsatian Riesling, they truly have it all) and amazing detailed advice on what to buy. During yellow zone, they have a few tables outside to enjoy a glass (or two) and a very affordable bottle shop to bring bottles home.
Casa del Vino
Casa del Vino (via dell’Ariento 16R) is a historic enoteca in the San Lorenzo neighborhood selling artisanal wine from small-scale producers, much of which is natural wine. Be sure to talk with owner Gianni Migliorini as he’s a wealth of knowledge and gives great suggestions. They also sell delicious Tuscan fare, including perhaps my favorite porchetta sandwich with house-made salsa verde and pickled onions. During yellow zone sit at a table outside and people watch in the somewhat quieter market area.
Vino Al Vino
Natural wine bottle shop Vino Al Vino (borgo Ognissanti 70R) has a collection of niche Tuscan, Italian and international natural and artisanal wines at great prices. Try one of their selections of orange wines made in the traditional amphora vessels.
In the wine bar, it is also possible to buy and ship bottles, and you can enjoy an aperitif with refined artisanal cheese plates and charcuterie embellished with special vegetarian ingredients, like the savory sea fennel from Conero “Pacasassi”. The wine bar also organizes thematic wine tastings twice a month and offers guided overviews of natural Italian wines.
With locations in Fiesole and central Florence, Coquinarius (via delle Oche 11R, Florence + Via Mantellini 2b, Fiesole) has a reputation for its high-quality food and an incredible natural wine list. What they describe as a “marriage of food and wine,” Coquinarius is equally intentional in its food and wine menu, serving immaculate Tuscan dishes (try the cheese and pear raviolini) and exclusively natural wine to pair.
Il Santo Bevitore + il Santino
Il Santo Bevitore and il Santino (via Santo Spirito 60-64R) sit side by side, the former being the restaurant and Il Santino being the more informal gastronomia. Both serve exceptional food and a lovely wine menu that includes some really great natural wines. While not everything on the wine menu is natural, the staff are incredibly helpful and knowledge about natural wine, and can guide you in the right direction.
Enoteca Bruni (borgo Ognissanti 25R) is a modern restaurant with a focus on natural wines. Owned by brothers Stefano and Alberto Bruni, who put extreme care and detail into their eclectic selection of natural wine, picking out a bottle feels like a sommelier-guided experience. In recent times, they have remained open for glasses of wine and taglieri outside, or you can pick up a bottle to go.
Organic restaurant and store Carduccio (sdrucciolo de’ Pitti 10R) also vaunts a fantastic natural wine selection, with a focus on local Tuscan producers. The owners are very intentional about the products they source and their wine is no exception. This is probably the only place in Florence that you can get an organic lunch, shop for local produce, and bring a bottle of natural wine home all in one go.
Le Volpi e L’Uva
Le Volpi e L’Uva (piazza dei Rossi 1R) is a special neighborhood wine bar that focuses exclusively on small and artisanal wine producers. Founding owner Emilio Monechi is a winemaker in his own right as proprietor of Mulini di Segalari, the first biodynamic winery in Bolgheri. A lot of the wine menu is natural and the staff are incredibly kind and helpful. They have quite a few tables out front during yellow zone, and a great selection of bites in aperitivo style.