“Listen to nature and follow her lead”
We believe, just like many people before us, that there will be no future without agriculture (“Pas d’avenir sans agriculture”, our French cousins say). Over the years we have collected our ideas for healthier and more sustainable vine growing and winemaking: this is the Manifesto which inspires our actions every day, in vineyard as well as in the wine cellar. It is a collection of stories, our stories, with the unmistakable beauty of real life.
If it happens to you to pass next to one of our vineyards, don’t be shy. Feel free to enter the vineyard and have a walk between the vine lines, smell the flowers, listen to the buzz of the insects, admire the colors of the leaves and the landscape, pick one daisy, taste a grape if you wish. The vineyard is alive, and is part of our cultural heritage.
A blade of grass is as strong as a tree. In our vineyards we sow grass in the rows of vines and in the headlands to protect the hills from soil erosion.
As we sow grass in our vineyard, it wouldn’t make sense to kill it with herbicides! Where it gets invasive, we kill it “softly” with heat (pyroweeding).
In the sloping sites we sow winter barley to shore up the soil and overshadow the weeds.
When we had to drive 18000 poles, we decided to use wooden poles from groomed woods instead of steel or concrete ones. Trees grow up again, mines and quarries will exhaust.
Wooden poles II
We only plant wooden poles in vineyards because we want them to resemble woods, not graveyards full of crosses made of iron or concrete.
We believe that the best way to re-use vine pruning is to leave them between the rows, together with mulches and grass mowing, so that the microorganisms in the soil will transform them in natural fertilizer.
Green manure is not enough. For this reason, after the vintage, we spread in the vine rows also winery pressings and manure.
The manure we spread on vineyards might smell a little bit. We know we must be patient, after a while it doesn’t smell any more.
Sprouts thinning, not grapes thinning
According to the old farmers, throwing away almost ripe grapes is a shame and a waste. We agree with them: If there were too many grapes it would be because we had made a mistake. If a plant is too much vigorous, we prefer to cut out the sprouts in summer.
The honey that our children eat comes from a neighbor beekeeper, whose bees like to fly around our vineyards. We keep it in mind when we make treatments in the vineyards.
As yellow as sulfur
For the city dwellers, sulfur doesn’t have any color, it’s just the smell coming out from the exhaust pipes and making the air less pure. For us, sulfur is yellow as the sun. It is a primary element in nature, a dust that we blow on the surface of leaves and sprouts, fighting a merciless fungus that otherwise would inevitably spoil the whole vintage.
As blue as copper
Many people believe copper to be copper-colored. For us copper is blue, like the crystals we dissolve in the lime and spread over the vines. It protects plants and grapes from mould and fungi, covering the surface without penetrating the skin. Rain will wash it away.
Beetles in spring, bedbugs in summer, flying ants in autumn, wasps and hornets during the harvest period. They are part of our ecosystem, members of the fragile habitat of the vineyard, in harmony with the other insects, plants, animals living here.
Beetles in spring, bedbugs in summer, flying ants in autumn, wasps and hornets during the harvest period. We have billions of insects of any kind! And we are very careful not to chase them away.
A few years ago, tens of thousands of grasshoppers settled down on the edge of a vineyard. They were incredibly voracious, glutton for leaves and sprouts. An “expert” advised us to get rid of them with a pesticide. The grasshoppers laughed at the pesticide, and after a few hours they were eating the sprouts again. One week later they disappeared by themselves. This was the last time we used a pesticide..
One day, an hawk decided to make one of our vineyards his chasing field. We see it often, flying around in circles, watching over his territory.
We have never seen any field mice or other rodents in the hawk’s vineyard.
Knowing their kindness and regard towards vineyards and rows, we are relieved there are no wild boars in our neighborhood.
Our dog is called Tequila. It is a belgian shepherd, black as coal, with a smart look, sleeping in a doghouse under the chestnut in our courtyard.
It is the name printed on the hood of our oldest tractor.
Rubber wheeled tractors
We use only rubber wheeled tractors in our vineyards: They are safer, have an hermetic air-conditioned cabin, the radio and above all they do not damage the grass (we sow it!) or compress the soil.
Caterpillar tractors are only useful in wartimes, or in muddy grounds.
It is the ecological category of our oldest tractor, and also its economic value. Our grandfather bought it in the village of montechiaro, we hold it in high regard and use it only for light jobs. It has no windshield wiper, but it has 3 seats!
Barbera mon amour
There is not only one kind of barbera: In our vineyards we grow eight biotypes of barbera, as each kind of soil needs a suitable variety.
New barriques, old barriques
The new ones are really beautiful, we use them for vigorous, full-bodied wines, then for nebbiolo. When they are exhausted, we give them to our customers, who place them outside their osterie with a bottles of wine on top. One of our friends from langhirano refines his best parma prosciutti inside our old barriques.
We have always been using the least possible quantity for making our wine, and so we will do in the future. Our customers say that that our wine “doesn’t give headaches, not even the white ones”.
Some years ago, a winegrower who was going to retire told us: “i’ve seen the way you work in the vineyard and i’d like to sell you mine”. We were pleased, and he reminded us those dog breeders which want to know the future owner before selling him a pet dog.
We don’t need electricity for vine growing… but we need it for wine making! For this reason we covered our rooftops with solar panels, generating 150% of the electricity we need. This means that we don’t pay any electricity bill.. On the contrary, we resell the power we don’t use to the energy company! Thanks to our solar panels, we avoid 100 tons co₂ emissions per year, corresponding to 500.000 liters of oil.
Besides our solar panels, we contribute lowering our carbon footprint also with 20 hectares of woods and meadows, which sum to the 50 hectares of vineyard for compensating the co₂ emissions due to wine processing and transportation.
Rain water collection
We never run out of water! We collect rainwater in the cistern under the cellar, which could keep up to 250.000 liters of water.
These are our authentic stories. If you like them, you are allowed to copy them all.