“Vanilla (very oaked, ed.) wines are worse than plastic surgery because while plastic surgery alters only the body, wine loses its soul with added aromas.” This is one of the most famous quotes from Mondovino (2004), the iconic movie by the French-American documentarist Jonathan Nossiter exploring the impact of globalization on the wine world.
Natural wine is more than just a trend in Italy. The movement boasts several pioneers from the postwar period, but gained a solid identity from the beginning of the 2000s. Since then, it has been radically changing the way wine is conceived, not only in terms of flavor but also from a political perspective. By using organic or biodynamic methods, these wines remain free from pesticides and herbicides, resulting in a product that is not only healthier and environmentally-friendly but also has a unique taste that genuinely reflects the authenticity of the terroir, the mix of soil, climate and local grape varieties.
Unlike conventional winemaking, which at times includes the use of additives to manipulate the wine’s taste and appearance, natural winemaking lets the grapes and terroir speak for themselves. Additionally, it is a way to support small, independent wineries, unlike the mass-produced wines from large corporations that dominate the market. Some of the Italian wineries that have made a fundamental contribution to this movement are Emidio Pepe, Lino Maga, Rinaldi, Soldera, Valentini, Dettori, Gravner, Oasi degli Angeli, La Stoppa, Luigi Tecce, Cascina degli Ulivi, Angiolino Maule and, more recently, Arianna Occhipinti, Stefano Amerighi and Walter Massa, among many others.
Vino al Vino is a natural wine bar with an all-new approach in Florence, located in borgo Ognissanti. The bar is laid-back and hip, with friendly and deeply knowledgeable staff. There is something for everyone here, whether you want to go for a casual glass, or join one of their more lively events. Offering a carefully curated selection of rare wine labels from small natural wine producers that are constantly updated, Vino al Vino is led by Italian-American owner Carmela Batacchi, natural wine expert Cosimo Giuntini and wine writer Jean Marco Palmieri.
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 savory seaweed from Conero “Paccasassi”. The wine bar also organizes thematic wine tastings twice a month and offers guided overviews of natural Italian wines.