Massimo Marchiori & Antonella Gerona

Massimo & AntonellaMassimo Marchiori and Antonella Gerona are an Italian couple from Piedmont. They’re both architects and they initially moved to Barcelona to work there. But, around the year 2000, they’d had enough of the big city, and went in search of a slower lifestyle. They settled in the Massís de Bonastre in the Baix Penedés and began farming all kinds of local foodstuffs. But here’s the rub. They couldn’t find the natural wines they liked to drink. So they started to make their own!

They launched their project, which is called Partida Creus, by recovering old vines of local grape varietals that, in most cases, were in vineyards that were close to abandoned. When they found a vineyard they were interested in, they’d go to the nearest town and find out who the owner was. Then they’d approach the owner and offer to buy it or, at least, farm it, organically, of course.

Their neighbors thought they were insane for choosing parcels that have very old, gnarly, low-yielding vines that, in most cases, contain what they view as obsolete grape varietals. Some of these vineyards have been disqualified from the appellation system; others were never part of it.

They’re now known as “those crazy Italians” who make incredible natural wines with grapes the locals had written off and replaced with more “international” varietals.