Christine Marzani is a Parisian, born in the Montparnasse neighborhood. She tells about herself that she was “raised to the secular and obligatory school of the Republic”. Although she now lives in Italy, she remains deeply attached to her French identity.
After studying sociology, she began working in major American hotel chains. This was an opportunity for her to gain both life and work experience in an environment where curiosity, organization, diversity, and sense of contact coexist.
With Rino, her Italian husband who loves good food, she opened an Italian restaurant in Paris offering specialties from Emilia Romagna, Rino’s region of origin: a tasty, thriving and flourishing adventure that lasted 30 years. While managing their restaurant, Christine and Rino met some wonderful people, including academics and artists. These encounters often led to profound friendships.
In this restaurant, they only wanted Italian wines to be served. Especially healthy, digestible and fresh wines, like the ones they would drink in the first Parisian bistros and cellars specialized in natural wines: Le Baratin, Les Envierges, etc….
At the time, it was not easy to drink Italian natural wines, neither in Paris nor in France. But Christine, always animated by a great curiosity, was looking for wines different from those that were available on the French scene. This is what she tells about her first encounter with “Our Lady of Moscato” Alessandra Bera: “I discovered fruit and especially grape juice that had just been picked, something very different from the bottled sugar that we would find in those days. It was obvious to me that I had to understand the story behind each bottle of wine: to know the man or the woman who made it, and to know the soil where the grapes were grown”. Hence, she started making some research and to get interested, and she met with the Italian winegrowers. It was not easy but word of mouth works…Until the day when the idea arose of organizing in Italy a Salon like those that were organized in France!
Following an evening with friends, with the presence of several French winegrowers, and thanks to the will of a City Mayor, the Salon was born. It was to be called “Vins de Vignerons -Vini di Vignaioli”!
During its first edition in Fornovo in 2002, there were about ten winemakers …
In 2016, “Vini di Vignaioli” brought together 170 winegrowers and, in spite of its functioning on a human scale, it became one of the major winegrowers’ salons in Italy. Each participating winemaker must comply with the charter of Vini di Vignaioli (cf. the charter) which promotes transparency and respect for nature, organic or biodynamic farming, manual harvesting, no use of synthetic molecules, no recourse to brutal and traumatic physical techniques (reverse osmosis, tangential filtration, rapid pasteurization, thermovinification, etc.), a minimal amount of added sulfites or zero sulfites.
– For red wines: from 0 to a maximum of 60 mg/l
The EU authorizes 160 mg/l
– For white wines: from 0 to a maximum of 70 mg/l
The EU authorizes 220 mg/l
– For sparkling wines and wines containing more than 5 g/l of residual sugar a maximum of 100 mg/l
The EU allows 400 mg/l
For many Italian winegrowers the history of natural wine begins in France. “Often” says Christine “I remind them of the history of the French Association of Natural Wines (AVN) and of the role of this association in the movement that we know today in Italy. And it’s not just about the world of wine: there’s a turning point in the whole farming world. There are many requests to go towards methods which are more respectful of nature. We’re aware of the questions that arise in France in an environment where the power of money has always been very strong. I think it’s absolutely necessary to support all the farmers’ and wine-producers’ struggles. In Italy, we’ve seen unusual fines given to winegrowers for using the word “natural”. There are not many of us, and yet the big industry is interested in us, either to crush or to use these farmers’ or winegrowers’ choices”.
Italy and France are extremely connected, they are cousins, and the winegrowers pay visit to each other more and more frequently. We now see winegrowers from all over Europe in every salon.
Today, this first Vini di Vignaioli Salon in Copenhagen is proof that all winegrowers defend the same values. It is also a response to the public who is curious to find out more about the women and the men who will present their Italian wines and terroirs.