Meet the producers
Most twenty-something women who uproot their lives and move to Berlin don’t exactly call living in farm gear, operating tractors, and pruning vines ‘living the dream’. But, Alanna Lagamba isn’t most twenty-something women. For Alanna, her vigneron life in the tiny village of Flonheim, in Germany’s Rheinhessen region is about as good as it gets.
It all started when Alanna would shuttle back and forth between Berlin and Flonheim to be with her love interest (and winemaker) Martin Wörner. She eventually decided to move permanently to the village and sunk her teeth into the vineyard work, eager to create wines of her own. Alanna initially had her heart set on pinot noir grapes for her own wine. Only problem? The variety was in short supply. Martin politely refused and instead proposed an entire vineyard of dornfelder grapes so she could get quickly get started and produce a wine for that very harvest. Since Alanna’s always loved Lambrusco (put that down to her Canadian-Italian roots!) She felt that a Lambrusco made with dornfelder grapes would be a good match. And with that, Frauen Power 2019 was born and brought forth the start of a very exciting career for the young Power Frau. As a winemaker, Alanna’s ethos is to drink wines that you can have fun with. Wine that you wish never ended, but when they do, you’re happy to reach for another bottle. That’s Frauen Power in a nutshell.
Her second wine is a direct press that’s equal parts pinot noir, pinot blanc and riesling. Catherine Riss, Asaltian winemaker and one of Alanna’s wine idols, inspired the blend and Alanna and Martin put their own spin on it during vinification adding a splash of dornfelder juice for colour. The result is Mehr Frauen: a direct press, fresh sparkling wine that’s easy, fresh and fun!
Taste for yourself what all the fuss is about. Shop Alanna’s wines on Sips.
Danilo Marcucci is the godfather of Italian natural wines. He boasts a 20-year career working with other vignerons to transition their production to entirely natural practices. Today, some of the natural winemakers like Massa Vecchia and Maule, who first showed Danilo the ropes, are highly revered. It has been Danilo’s lifework to transform Italian vineyards into natural wineries with a fierce sense of local tradition and hyper-regionalism.
Whilst he consults around 10 natural wineries across Italy, he calls Umbria home. It’s in the tranquil rolling hills of this region that Marcucci produces wines for his own project, The Pure Wines of Monk. Monasteries and cloisters traditionally occupied Umbria’s fertile land, contrasting its wealthy neighbour Tuscany, once home to rich merchants and dukes. Umbria, as a region, is particularly resistant to change which makes his commitment to breaking the mould of modern manipulations and winemaking shortcuts all-the-more impressive.
Umbria’s rich, earthy terroir is evident in Marcucci’s wines. With a beautiful balance between depth, spice, lightness and acid, The Pure Wines of Monk are some of the most unique and awe-inspiring wines we have ever tried.
Shop the purity of Marcucci’s wines on Sips.
Not a fan of categories and labels, Hervé Villemade has a refreshingly pragmatic approach to labelling natural wine: we do what we say and say what we do. Villemade, in his words, makes wine from clean grapes and nothing else.
Hervé Villemade took over his grandparent’s vineyard in 1995. He began following the conventional winemaking footsteps of his family and continued until he realised he was bored with the production style and predictable, bland flavour of his wines. He noticed that natural wines struck an emotional chord with him. So, Villemade produced his first sulfur-free wines in 1999 following guidan
ce from some of France’s great natural winemakers, such as Marcel Lapierre. It was during this time that Hervé realised the importance of clean grapes for unsulfured wine and began to convert his entire estate to organic in the year 2000.
Located in Cheverny, Loire, Villemade’s wines are certified by the appellations of both Cheverny and Cour Cheverny according to the AOC system. The sand, flint and clay soils of the region impart a gentle creaminess, stony minerality and lovely roundness to the wines of Domaine Hervé Villemade.
Take yourself to Villemade’s corner of the Loire with Sips.
Matteo Furlani makes sparkling natural wines. Almost exclusively. This kind of dedication to a single product means Cantina Furlani’s bubbles are known across the world as some of Italy’s best sparkling wines. They’re crowd pleasers to say the least. Furlani’s grapes cling to the sides of the Dolomite mountains above the town of Trento. His unique style is a blend of Pét-Nat, Champagne and Methodo Ancestrale winemaking. He also adopts the "Metodo Interrotto’, or Interrupted Method, which is an unfinished fermentation in the bottle. Like a scene straight from an old movie, the team transfers the wine into demijohns, or big wine bottles, and rest the vessels in the snow to allow the wine to naturally settle during the winter. This way, they make the most of their surroundings and can naturally clarify the wine allowing different particles to settle.
Close to the Austrian border, Cantina Furlani’s vineyards include many German/Austrian grape varieties such as Müller Thurgau, gewürztraminer and grauburgunder. Furlani’s final flourish is leaving each wine in its bottle for two years. This extended lees contact strikes a balance between the yeasty, toasty champagne notes and the lightweight feel of a pét-nat. The results are juicy, energetic and exciting wines.
Shop some of Italy’s best bubbles at Sips.