Travel /
Lombardia

Natural Wines

Where to find them in Milan

 

The topic is HOT. From Milan, passing through London to Berlin or Barcelona, ​​the natural wine world flairs up various debates, both among us, sector experts and among pure enthusiasts.

 

The desire to leave urban centers to rediscover life amongst nature in the countryside has affected many people in recent times of the pandemic. In the same way, there is also a desire for authenticity in what we choose to nourish our body.

 

It was 2005 when I started studying and working in the world of wine in Milan. Speaking of organic wine was rare and the term “natural” hardly used by anyone; when you did, the phrase, I remember well was more or less always the same “No, organic (natural) wine stinks. It’s not perfect”.

 

But what is meant by natural / organic or biodynamic wine or more correctly grapes from organic or biodynamic viticulture? We can say that wine is natural when the farmer-producer who works the land is small, produces a few bottles and only with the grapes of his own vineyards, does not use chemicals in the vineyard or in the cellar, uses indigenous yeasts present on the skins of grapes for fermentation, does not use acidity correctors or selected yeasts, and uses low doses (sometimes no dose!) of added sulfur (that “annoying” substance that creates the famous hangover headache for many, but that in reality is naturally produced by the wine).

 

Do you know that the natural evolution of grape must, if left without a temperature control and completely at the mercy of itself, is vinegar? Therefore, to produce a good natural wine, paradoxically, human intervention in the cellar is fundamental, necessary and obligatory. Although reduced to a minimum if the grapes harvested from healthy vineyards are in perfect, good shape, at the right ripeness and without mold or defects.

 

Natural wines are therefore artisanal, emotional wines. Live, lively, and above all, they are never the same: they reflect the terroir and the climatic trend of the vintage. They speak of fatigue in the vineyard, where everything is born. The quality only needs to be helped to manifest itself, because it is already present at an intrinsic level.

 

Edoardo Valentini, a great and mythical wine producer in Abruzzo, inspired by the Greek philosopher Socrates, said: “I look and let Mother Nature take its course: everything already exists, you just have to let it emerge”

 

So, if you are curious to learn more about the topic, and you are in Milan, here is a selection of places, restaurants, and shops where you can be guided with magnificent tastings.

 

VINOIR

Gianluca and Maddalena are on the podium because they are the couple who first, in 2012, decided to create in Milan a meeting place and culture where to give voice to small artisan and natural wine producers. The first to create a bar outside the usual schemes, where the great names of the world of wine were banned.

Minimal square footage, white walls, lots of wood and metal details. The wine bookcase on the wall is adjacent to the large entrance counter, behind you find the words: “A wine is like a book: you are passionate about its history”. Mixing with often rare and artisanal wines, e-commerce and a small but grandiose (in terms of quality of raw materials and execution of the dishes) cuisine. On the Navigli. ViniVinoir and their stories await you!

 

TERROIR

In the gray of Milan, a corner of color, with an orange bag.

I don’t know whether to call it just a neighborhood shop, because it is much more.

A place where agricultural culture is created and breathed; where the small craftsman is given a voice and thus becomes the great protagonist. Since 2018, Gabriele Ornati, is the soul of Terroir, a place of refreshment. Here you will find everything: fruit, vegetables, bread, cheeses, books, herbal teas, and obviously selected wine companies… you will never leave empty-handed. I’m sure. 

The products are all the result of careful and meticulous research.

Terroir welcomes and envelops.

It is a place where the eye, when crossing the threshold, never knows where to look first.

You will want to treat yourself and others to artisan culture.

 

MESTÉ

Mesté.

In Milanese it means “trade”

The type that no one does anymore. The crafts related to products, craftsmanship and handwork as well as body fatigue, the same ones that Marco and Daniele want to enhance in their restaurant through a careful selection of products, raw materials and especially wines.

You will find Marco in the kitchen, and Daniele in the dining room to present you the best combination for your dish.

Mesté is a small and colorful place, very simple and with vintage touches. Few seats, but in the summer there is a lovely outdoor area with deck chairs, buckets and spades for even the little ones to play. The 60s wall-mounted telephone is a real gem, vintage but fully functional, and not coin operated!

I recommend that you drop by, so you will find out if there is someone who really answers!

 

RØST

Enrico Murru is from Veneto, with a Sardinian surname, he works in Milan in a restaurant with a Scandinavian name. Lucia Gaspari is also Venetian, with a history behind her in the kitchens of Copenhagen, today she works as a chef in Milan, in this original and stylish restaurant, with a Nordic name but very Italian menu.

Lucia and Enrico are the couple who lead ROST, opened just over a year in Milan, in the very lively – gastronomically speaking – Porta Venezia district. The restaurant immediately established itself with a winning formula: few dishes to share like tapas (gourmet), few seats, a very unique selection of everything, from coffee to egg suppliers, meat and vegetables, and wines chosen by Enrico. Lucia is very talented, her dishes very original, a sustainable cuisine with forgotten ingredients.

Please: you can’t leave here without tasting Lucia’s mondeghilipromesso?

 

MOTELOMBROSO

“A large pink house, at the bottom of a slope” along the Naviglio Pavese. This is how Motelbroso presents itself to all of its guests. Surrounded by a lush garden and enriched by simple but special pieces of furniture, such as the ancient Japanese black bamboo reed and a tall and majestic wall mirror that will amaze you with its ability to amplify the spaces. The real jewel hides within the pink house, a restaurant that Matteo and Alessandra, the hosts, have conceived and created inside an iron and glass structure.

This very bright and evocative GreenHouse, furnished with Carrara marble tables, black leather design armchairs and velvet sofas, is enhanced by lots of greenery and kokedama plants hanging here and there. Upstairs, you will find a reserved room, which can be rented “by the hour” (just like motel rooms): the wine room, surrounded by the bottles chosen by Matteo, showcases small artisans who produce natural wine. It is a wonderful place, just outside the city center, a place for leisure, food and wine. Unforgettable.

 

 

E / n Enoteca Naturale

Finally, in the city center, do not miss E / n Enoteca Naturale, inside the Casa Emergency building near the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio. Here Rocco, the host and the man behind the wine selection, has been able to create, together with the owners, a dynamic, inclusive, lively and absolutely a place of reference for those looking for a true experience, with wines and food from pure artisans. Beautiful garden in the hottest season!

 

Rovello18

For one of the best dinners or lunches in the city with a crazy wine list, try Rovello18 restaurant in the Brera area. It not only has a ton of artisan wines, there are also more conventional labels. Definitely one of the most interesting wine lists in the city, combine it with traditional cuisine in a Parisian bistro setting and you have a dream meal.

 

Latest TIPS not to be missed: the Trippa restaurant, Pastamadre and the Enoteca Vino all in the Porta Romana area.

Champagne Socialist and Immorale in the Porta Venezia area, ONest in Città Studi, Tipografia Alimentare in the Gorla-Viale Monza area, are just some of the other small and indispensable places of Milanese taste where you can get advice, drink and eat in a simple and artisanal way.

Stay Natural, Stay Rebellious.

 

VINOIR

TERROIR

MESTÉ

RØST

MOTELOMBROSO

E / n Enoteca Naturale

Rovello18