A local couple has set up an online business bringing natural wines, produced without any additives and very low in sulphites, from Italy to the island.
Kate and Marcello launched ‘WildWine’ recently with a range of 17 wines.
Originally from Modena in Emilia-Romagna, an area known for its food, wine and vinegar, Marcello has been drinking natural wines for several years.
“I used to be a chef and I am a wine expert as well, especially natural wine because personally I have problems with standard wine,” he explained.
“Physically, I am very sensitive - if the wine is with chemicals, I feel odd sensations, I have headaches even when drinking them. I get really bad hangovers the day after and tiredness. My passion for natural wine started because of my feelings on those wines.”
Pictured: A former chef, Marcello says he is passionate about natural wines.
“Natural wine is a wine that has to be organic - that’s a must,” he continued. “Then it can be biodynamic, that’s a plus. It’s got to be with a low sulphites, and little or even no intervention at all, like standard winery interventions, the fermentation has to be natural with absolutely no additives.
“The yeast that helps the fermentation has to be indigenous and come from the same grapes used to make the wine, otherwise they are selected and made in a laboratory.
Producing the wine in a natural way, Marcello said, makes it more difficult to obtain a good wine, because you do not have the help or “blanket” of sulphates to cover taste errors.
“We do not like any of these additives, you can feel them in the wine,” he said.
Pictured: "The colours are amazing," Kate said.
Kate, a freelance designer, says she can tell the difference between a natural wine and one that is not.
“I can notice the difference in how it feels,” she said. “It tastes a lot cleaner, the smells are more intense, the colours are amazing.”
As Marcello explained, natural wines have been gaining popularity over the last 10 years, not only in Italy but all over Europe.
“It’s the philosophy, in Italy especially, this sense of healthy products is very strong,” he said. “It’s been strong for years, these producers have been doing organic wines for years. It’s about being proud to produce a healthy, natural products, especially because now people are becoming more sensitive and aware of wellness.”
After living seven years in London, Marcello moved to the island two years ago to work as a private chef for a family.
Pictured: The couple collects the wines directly from the farms.
After he met Kate, the pair decided to set up an online wine store, sourcing only organic or biodynamic wine from Italy.
“We thought it was a good idea to try and introduce natural wines in Jersey because there is now way to find them,” he said.
“We had been looking for good wines and we could not find them. We tried a few and they were not really good.”
The wines sourced by the couples come from a group of “small family business wineries” in northern Italy, some of which Marcello has known for years as they are based near where he grew up.
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All of the wines are biodynamic, which means natural farming methods have been used in their production, and are very low in sulphites.
The couple travel to Italy themselves every three months to collect the wines directly from the farms, which they say ensures “the smoothest and best travel conditions for the wine."
During their next trip, they are hoping to bring back Tuscan wines as well as some aged balsamic vinegar.
In the next few weeks, they are also hoping to run some tasting session from their St. Ouen base.
In the future, Wildwine could also go from online to the real world.
"We would love to have a little shop," Marcello said.
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