Sieman, the celebrated Italian winemakers from Veneto, are releasing their latest vintages. Here at mynaturalwine.co.uk we love their wines, and we could not wait to receive them. Now they’re finally here! They are also available at our shop TheHive in East London, so if you happen to be nearby, make sure you pop in to say hello, to grab your bottle or Sieman, or to have a look at the rest of our great selection of great natural wines. And remember: our coffee is pretty damn good too!
We have always been big fans of the Filippini brothers Marco, Daniele and Andrea, aka Sieman (six hands in their local dialect), for the passion and creativity they put into what they do. If you haven’t tried their wines yet, you should definitely get your paws on them before they sold out. Sieman’s whole production is limited to a few thousand bottles, so don’t wait too long!
In order to properly celebrate the release of their new batch of wines, we thought it would be appropriate to ask a few questions to the brothers themselves, so as to give them the chance to tell their own story in their own words, and Daniele was gracious enough to reply to my email. So, without further ado, let’s hear what he has to say.
Your website reveals that you and your brothers all have different professional histories, but that you all have in common a passion for wine. What is the story of this passion? Are you the first winemakers in your family?
We realised we had a serious passion for wine after attending a sommelier course. Soon after that, we encountered our first natural wines. We went to see some well-established wineries and that taught us the philosophy and the ethics of agriculture and wine-making, which the sommelier courses do not teach.
We are the first of our family: we pooled our resources and got some land. It didn’t belong to our family, we bought it. It was like a new adventure for us.
There is a growing awareness in consumers of the environmental and social impact of the products we buy. Is that why you have decided to adopt biodynamic farming practices?
We don’t go by the biodynamic book. We do however adopt a very natural approach. The health of our vines depends on the harmony between plants, soil, and the wider environment. Wild herbs and grasses grow almost unchecked in our vineyards, and we limit the use of machines to the very minimum in order to avoid soil degradation.
Wineries such as yours put quality over quantity. Is this the future of wine, or will this remain a niche product?
Thankfully, there is an increasing number of wineries that do the same as us. I think generally consumers still lack awareness when it comes to natural wine, but this is where we as producers have our work cut out for us. We need to tell our stories so we can engage more people, and we can all start moving towards a better and healthier future.
Passion for the territory is one of your defining traits. Could you tell us about the Colli Berici (the hills where Sieman have their wineries, Ed.) and how they are expressed in your wines and beers?
60 million years ago, the Colli Berici were submerged by a sea. Because of that, today the soil is richly calcareous (you can still spot the odd fossilised shell of a mollusc), with the additional presence of sand, silt, and some clay. Our vineyards spread over 4 hectares and are surrounded by woodland. They are south-facing, rise 100 to 120m above sea level, and benefit from a warm climate.
We always seek to reach a balance, or equilibrium, between the traditionally strong character of our local wines and the ‘softness’ we want them to have. This is only possible by harvesting at precisely the right moment.
What are your favourite wines of your winery and why?
There really isn’t a favourite. All our eight wines are not made following fads or trends. We make them because we really believe in what we do and what we have. If I had to mention a wine in which we have invested a lot of time and effort, it would be the Rosavia made with Corbinona grapes. This is an old variety that we have laboriously reintroduced; it grows slowly because it hasn’t been genetically modified through selection as other varieties have been.
Is there a question you wish people would ask you more often?
Not many people ask us why we have decided to plant nine varieties in only four hectares. The truth is that our winery is a laboratory where we can experiment and create wines with personality, and have fun while we do it. With 9 varieties, we are constantly inspired to experiment! Of course, harvesting gets more complicated, and so does managing our production. But we succeed because we have passion for what we do.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Since the 2019 harvest, we have been making our wines without any additive. Making wine without sulphur and additives increases the risk of spoilage, so you really need attention and to keep a vigilant eye on several things at once. In the end, though, making a ‘clean’ and good wine is extremely rewarding.
We hope that by reading this you will be inspired to visit our website and treat yourself to a bottle of wine from Sieman.
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