Falling for Vino di Anna

Anna Martens in her vineyards. She and husband Eric Narioo are capturing the energy and excitement of Mt. Etna like few other producers.

I have completely fallen for Vino di Anna’s wines. I get a rush when they come back to town. These are the most energetic, expressive, and vibrant Mt. Etna wine I’ve tasted—and I drink a lot of Etna wines.

Three wines just arrived from them: two salty, mineral whites and a brilliant, playful volcanic red. They exude versatility, I’ve paired their white wines with everything including red sauce pizza, pasta, veggies, and even chocolate ice cream with strawberries for dessert. They are my go-to for Etna Rossos that are natty enough to satisfy the most entrenched wine snob yet are so approachable they can win over the most aloof wine drinkers around—i.e. parents visiting who primarily drink California Cabs.

It was Frank Cornelissen's Susucaru (which also just landed) that opened up natural wine to me. But while Susucaru will always have a part of my heart, it was the wines from Anna Martens of Vino di Anna that truly hooked me on Etna. The Vino di Anna wines are closer to the era when Susucaru had zero-sulfur added: a little wild, sometimes unpredictable, but consistently elegant and engaging. 



Anna Martens, originally from Australia, trained as an oenologist, but her husband Eric Narioo, from France, pushed her towards the more natural side of winemaking. Anna and Eric made their first wine together on Mount Etna in 2008. In 2010, the couple purchased their first vineyard of old vine Nerello Mascelese in Contrada Crasà, along with a neighbouring, derelict palmento, the stone structure used in traditional Etna winemaking for centuries. They now work around seven hectares of vines using Biodynamic practices and adding as little sulfur as possible, often none. The vines range from 60-100 years old and are planted anywhere from 2100 to almost 4000 feet of elevation.
I was completely wowed by the freshness of this recent release that seemed to be doomed by a vintage marked with excessive heat. With natural, low-intervention wines like these, it can be difficult to know if they will deliver year after year, but after tasting a few vintages of Vino di Anna, I am ready to follow them to the edge of the bubbling volcano and do a trust fall.


Jeremy Hernandez

Image of Vino di Anna "Vendredi 13" Rosso 2021
Vino di Anna "Vendredi 13" Rosso 2021
This is a medium to light bodied red with aromas of heirloom tomato, black plum, candied orange peel, and a fresh herb garden. The palate is an enigmatic mix of cherry cola, amaro, blood orange, black pepper and volcanic minerals abound. The Vendredi 13 2021 has so much energy and lift while maintaining complexity, balance and intrigue. Pair with fresh tomato bruschetta, red sauce pasta, burgers, and taco salad. - Jeremy Hernandez
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Image of Vino di Anna 'Palmento Bianco' Sicilia 2022
Vino di Anna 'Palmento Bianco' Sicilia 2022
Palmento Bianco 2022 is a riper, saltier expression, reflecting the heat of the vintage. But it slowly reveals notes of dried apple ring, nutmeg, and ginger and the underpinning of seaspray and brine is wildly refreshing. My new weeknight go-to dish of soba noodles with toasted walnuts, capers, sardines, and lemon is perfect for this wine. - Jonathan Kemp
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Image of Vino di Anna "Jeudi 15" Bianco 2021
Vino di Anna "Jeudi 15" Bianco 2021
Vino di Anna's white wines are top of my list for most versatile wines of all time. I've had their white wines with red sauce pizza, stir fry, and chocolate ice cream with strawberries. The Jeudi 15 2021 is bursting with aromas of sea salt, creme, lemon curd, lemon flower, lemon verbena, and white peach. On the palate you'll find medium acidity, salinity, white florals, bright citrus, good tannic structure, with plenty of energy and lift. - Jeremy Hernandez
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