VAN – Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers


Natural, Biological and Biodynamic Wines on show in Rome, at the City of the Other Economy.


Another event dedicated to Natural, Organic and Biodynamic wines. The V.A.N fair (Vignaioli Artigiani Naturali) was held in Rome last March 9/10th at the Città dell’Altra Economia. Over forty producers that adhere to the “Chart of Intents” established by the Association, presented the product of their daily efforts in this two days, rewarded by a remarkable public success.

Membership of the V.A.N. entails some obligations and limits for the winemakers (both in the cultivation and vinification phases), but within these, it leaves complete freedom to the imagination and the desire to experiment. We talked about Natural wines HERE too.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers

We do not want to enter into discussions among the supporters of this type of wine and of those produced “traditionally”. We limit ourselves to emphasizing that, in both cases, and also in those where an “integrated” viniculture is used, it is possible to obtain both very high quality products and absolutely insignificant wines, or even few and undrinkable ones. Fortunately, it is not the latter the case of the events we attend (and we report in this magazine), given that we are faced with organizations and events that, due to their specific nature, operate first a selection that is always aimed at quality.

That said, we still have the task of tasting and signaling to our readers the wines that we liked the most and that we think are worth reporting. An opinion (and a selection of tastings) that is entirely personal, of course, but which can be taken as an example of any enthusiast, without any use (or abuse) of technical, initiatory or proper terms used by the experts and sommelier categories.

There is only one discriminating factor: do we like this wine?

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers

Our Selection


Let’s start then with Tenuta San Marcello, a company from Marche that offers the excellent Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. From them we also tasted some interesting “experimental” wines, preserved in amphora, not yet marketed.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Tenuta San Marcello

From the province of Reggio Emilia, Ferretti proposed several variations of Lambrusco, among which we appreciated the Al CER 2017.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Ferretti

The wines of the Ribelà Cellar, of Monte Porzio Catone (Rome), with its Ribelà, Saittole and Pentima are also very interesting, all based on Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes in different percentages, with the addition of Bombino in the case of Ribelà.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Cantina Ribelà

Moving on to Piedmont, not far from Alessandria, Vinicea proposed different wines, including the particularly valuable Barbera del Monferrato Superiore 2013.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Vinicea

Still in the same region, but in Chiomonte in Val di Susa, we are pleased to point out a young and courageous company, the Granja Farm, which under the No Tav banner, tries to safeguard several native vines from which it produces two interesting reds: the Red Rebel (Dolcetto) and the Black Rebel (Avanà, Bichet and other autochthonous).

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Granja Farm - No Tav

From Sicily, in the Catania area, Bruno Ferrara Sardo presented a “vertical” of ‘Nzemmula (Nerello Mascalese) with the 2012/14/15/16 vintages, all at very high level.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Bruno Ferrara Sardo

Finally, we highlight the three wineries that we appreciated the most, both for the quality level and for the variety or type of wines offered.

From Sardinia, and precisely from Mamojada (Nu), the Cantina Francesco Cadinu in addition to the excellent Cannonau (and in particular the Perdas Longas Riserva 2016) also presented the truly interesting Mattio (Granatza) and De Oro (Moscato).

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Cantina Francesco Cadinu

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Cantina Francesco Cadinu

Noteworthy is the proposal of Cantine Lucà, in the province of Reggio Calabria, with its Marasà Bianco (Mantonico and Guardavalle) and Rosso (Nerello Calabrese and Gaglioppo), flanked by two great passito wines: Greco di Bianco and Mantonico.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Cantina Lucà

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Cantina Lucà

Finally, Poggio di Cicignano in the province of Pistoia, presented its Vanenpo: Aura (San Colombano, Malvasia Bianca and Trebbiano), Tramonto (San Giovese, Canaiolo and Malvasia Nera) of great merit, and the equally remarkable Passito, from San Colombano, Malvasia Bianca and Trebbiano grapes.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Poggio di Cicignano

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Poggio di Cicignano

As a corollary of the wine section, some farms (always organic) have proposed different agricultural products, e.g saffron, EVO oil, chillies, or Modica’s chocolate.

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Saffron

VAN - Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers - Chili Peppers

In conclusion, a decidedly interesting event, which has the merit of enhancing and proposing to the general public the production of small and medium-sized businesses that strive daily to safeguard the territory, ancient vines, cultivation and winemaking techniques, without losing sight of the possibility of experimenting, and with the ultimate goal of offering quality wines that, as we have seen, have certainly been numerous.


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V.A.N. Vignaioli Artigiani Naturali (Natural Craftsmen Winegrowers)

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