“Our Italians” is a series of interviews conducted with local food artisans, experts and producers in some major Italian cities, but also those who practice their craft in smaller, rural, less visited parts of Italy. These passionate individuals are committed to sharing the best in Italian food, wine and traditional products, through family-owned businesses and small scale enterprises, and we’re here to introduce them to you. Today we meet Anna Martens, the co-founder of Vino Di Anna located on the slopes of Mount Etna.
Anna hails from Australia. She first visited Europe in 1997 to harvest in Burgundy and travel to the classic wine regions of northern Italy but her real adventure began in 2001 when she returned to Italy to harvest at Tenuta dell’Ornellaia in Bolgheri. She was hooked. She took a full time job at Ornellaia and stayed for four years. In 2005, she traveled to Mount Etna. Enamored by the terraces, the old vines, the challenging climate and local grape varieties – Nerello Mascalese and Carricante – she joined Andrea Franchetti’s team at the Passopisciaro Vineyard near Catania, Sicily. From her first harvest at Passopisciaro, Anna was itching to get her hands on some grapes of her own. In 2008, Anna and her husband Eric Nairoo purchased two parcels of fruit from friends. She made wine in a plastic tub in the corner of Andrea’s winery from which the first 600 bottles of Vino Di Anna were made. The rest is history… Husband and wife dedicated themselves to making only natural wines.
We had the opportunity to visit Anna at her vineyards. Continue reading “The Martens mission” for excerpts from our talk.