Vino di Anna is a winery on the north face of Etna, Sicily founded and owned by Anna Martens and her husband Eric Narioo who is co-owner of the London-based wine merchant Les Caves de Pyrène. Anna Martens is from Adelaide, Australia and is a qualified oenologist. She trained with Brian Croser for eight years before becoming a flying winemaker, working in various countries (eg In Tuscany at Ornellaia). 

Vineyards | Grapes are sourced from old bush vines dating from the early 1900s to the 1950s. The principal variety is Nerello Mascalese. The vineyards range from 760-900 metres (2,493-2,593 feet) in altitude. Soils are volcanic. Eric and Anna acquired some vines from Salvo Foti, who sold them his highest white vineyard.

Organic certification | 2017 No.

Winemaking | Wines are made with minimal intervention, natural yeasts, no additives, no fining or filtering and little or no SO2. Whole bunch and hardly any pigeage for Nerello. The wines ferment in a variety of vessels including Palmento (open top ferments), old barrels, stainless steel and even qvevri. The qvevri wines are fermented in buried terracotta pots made by one of Georgia’s finest potters and then aged in smaller versions of the same. They are Qvevri Rosso, Don Alfio and Q1000 “Tataraci” and are from different vineyards, each expressing the Nerello grape in a particular way.

White wines

Palmento Bianco

Vino di Anna, Bianco

Red wines – Non-Qvevri

Etna Rosso DOC, Jeudi 15 | A single vineyard Nerello Mascalese supplemented by “a field blend of various red and white grapes including Nerello Cappuccio and Alicante. Nerello combines a certain muscularity with good acid structure from the poor, ash-rich soils. The grapes are hand-harvested, 2/3 whole bunch and fermented in an open wooden vat, pressed after one week and transferred into stainless steel. The wine is bottled without filtration, fining or sulphur. Pale Burgundy-red,” (Caves de Pyrene list, July 2011). | 2009 Crisp red fruit at the Natural Wine Fair 2011.

Etna Rosso DOC, Palmento Rosso | Fermented in a 250 year old Sicilian volcanic stone tank. A fruity style of Nerello Mascalese leavened by some Malvasia Bianca.

Etna Rosso DOC, Vino di Anna | “Vino di Anna Rosso – same vineyard as the Jeudi 15 above, but older vines. | 2014 100% Nerello Mascalese. Whole bunch. Wooden vat. Pigeage. 6 weeks on skins. Pressed. Back to wood. Bit cheesy I think at the Real Wine Fair 2016.

Red Wines – Qvevri

Etna Rosso DOC, Qvevri Don Alfio | Don Alfio and Q1000 Tataraci are from different vineyards, each expressing the Nerello grape in a particular way. Fermented in qvevriNerello Mascalese. Fermented in qvevri. The vines were bought in 2010 from Don Alfio whose grandfather had originally planted it. 900 metres (2,953 feet). 2014 Nerello Mascalese and a bit of Nerello Capuccio. 6 months on skins in quevri of 2,200 litres. Rich, bright, incredible acid and then cheese at end at the Real Wine Fair 2016.

Etna Rosso DOC, Q1000 Tataraci | Nerello Mascalese. Don Alfio and Q1000 Tataraci are from different vineyards, each expressing the Nerello grape in a particular way. Fermented in qvevri.

Bibliography

Les Caves de Pyrène list, July 2011 

Natural Wine Fair 2017, Borough Market, London 15-17 May.

Real Wine Fair 2016, Tobacco Dock, London 17-18th April.