“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. We’re here to introduce them to you.

Today we meet Antonio Marino and Marisa Gabbianelli, the owners of Les Vignerons, one of Rome’s top natural wine and craft beer shops.

Antonio_Marisa_LesVignerons_natural_wineOne could argue that they were children when they first tasted natural wine. They grew up in small towns where vino contadino (homemade wine) like bread was an essential part of lunch and dinner and it was common for children to have a sip of wine when the family gathered around the table. In 2006 Antonio encountered this type of wine again at a small natural wine fair in Verona. Recalling his childhood with each drop, he knew he had tasted something different. Marisa remembers the first time she tasted a Pinot Grigio produced by Dario Prinčič’, one of Italy’s historic natural wine producers. The opposite of the insipid, clear white pinot grigios she’d tasted until then, Prinčič’s Pinot Grigio mesmerized her and she wondered why many producers alter the color and taste of wines.

Since then, Antonio and Marisa have dug deeply into the subject of natural wine and craft beer by tasting, researching and meeting countless producers in Italy, France and beyond. Gradually through exploration they pursued small scale vintners who use minimum intervention in the vineyards and cellars, making wine in a simpler way. In 2010, they opened Les Vignerons in the Tor Pignattara neighborhood of Rome.

We had the opportunity to talk with them over coffee around the corner from their soon to be opened location in Trastevere. Continue reading the naturalists  for our interview with Antonio and Marisa.

Les Vignerons
Via Goffredo Mameli 61 in Trastevere
Opening hours: Monday from 16:00-21:30; Tuesday-Saturday from 10:30 – 21:30

Stay tuned for more interviews in the “Our Italians” series.