The initial seed for what we now call MY NATURAL WINE was organically planted back in 2008 when we (Ilaria and Marco) took a massive step out of our comfort zones, moving from Italy to the hustling, bustling capital city of England we all know as London. Long story short with Ilaria being a vegan chef at the time and myself working in the music industry, there just simply was not enough career opportunities in Italy, whereas on the other hand London was booming with regards to the vegan industry not to mention the music scene has and always will be thriving (unless it’s COVID-19 times) so it was a no-brainer making the move from Italy to London.
Almost as soon as we settled down into London Ilaria had found herself a great job working at Mildreds in Soho and I had just started a weekly dubstep club night in Shoreditch, all seemed to be going well in life. After just a short while, between the late club nights and the unsocial work hours in the hospitality scene we realised how removed our modern lives had become from nature which inspired a natural awakening for the two of us, and so the journey back to the more natural side of life began!
One of the first steps we took towards getting back in touch with nature was in 2011 when we launched an organic coffee shop called G&T that was situated in Bethnal Green, our main focus at the shop was to work with strictly organic grown coffee beans that were as responsibly sourced as we could possibly get our hands on. We’ve got very fond memories of G&T because it was also where our first interest in biodynamics was born thanks to the generous knowledge from one of our regulars at the shop, Isabelle Legeron (RAW Wine). Certain wines we were drinking back then really blew our minds especially when it came to tastes and flavours.
In that period of 2011/2012, the natural and biodynamic wine scene was just at the beginning, we had the opportunity to go to the first edition of the RAW Wine fair (2012) in Brick Lane and that was definitely a starting point that stimulated our search for natural wines. Our passion for natural wine grew year by year at Bethnal Green, we could also see our little organic coffee shop evolving before our very eyes!
2015 came around and by then, as well as the coffee shop, we noticed our spiritual paths had evolved over the years and so we changed our location, followed by a change in name to ‘The Hive’ – a vibrant, independent organic café based in the east side of London.
We began sourcing wine to sell at The Hive from natural wine specialist suppliers all across the UK before going on to make our own trips out to small and big, independent Italian natural winemakers such as Ferdinando Principiano, Elisabetta Foradori, Francesco Salvetta and Alois Lageder – on those initial trips we learned so much about wine production and biodynamic viticulture.
For us life is about constantly learning, so after a few years of really indulging ourselves in the world of natural and biodynamic wine we felt like we had learned a lot, meaning it was time to seek out our next challenge in life which was to start importing the wine ourselves! We started off with just a small portfolio of Italian producers; Rocco Di Carpeneto, Sieman, Salvetta, Sete, Cantina Indigeno, and Tunia, our portfolio continued to grow at a faster rate than we expected so it was time to launch what you now know as ‘My Natural Wine’ – a website fully devoted to representing our natural wine portfolio from A to Z as well as starting a wine club shortly thereafter.
This experience inspired us to embark on a new adventure – to produce our own natural wine, using artisan techniques inspired by nature. In 2019, our spiritual journey completely blossomed into sixtyfoureighty a social enterprise where our main goal is to champion the regenerative power of nature. Sixtyfoureighty is a movement with three core pillars, cherishing the power of the soil beneath our feet, our bodies’ incredible self-healing powers and the importance of nurturing the soul. Heavily drawing wisdom from Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic philosophy, this was a massive step for us towards nurturing and restoring our connection to nature – it should go without saying that Steiner’s philosophy has incredibly inspired sixtyfoureigthy’s three vital pillars – soil, health and the soul.
Bearing in mind the two of us are very proud Italians (like most!) when it came to deciding where we wanted to buy land to begin farming on, Italy was the only country that really came up in discussion. For a couple of years we desperately searched for a farm to buy in the region of Dogliani but we came up short and eventually managed to find a vineyard located in between Marsaglia and Murazzano in Alta Langa (in Marco’s home region of Piemonte) which is just 30km away from Barolo.
Bottom line here at My Natural Wine and 6480 we strive to restore natural balance to our lives and nothing less.
As both the projects evolves, we’re committed to supporting more community-led projects made to revitalise our connection to the natural world. It’s a shared vision!