The spectacular beauty of the natural landscape, the silent perfection of being, and the completeness of the cycle of seasons are all grand experiences which profoundly enrich us. It is a great privilege to partake every year of these treasures, and as artisans of real wine, stand watch that the real forces of nature come together in the wine and become the highest expression of the diversity and authenticity of the territory.
The phrase ‘love and respect for our earth’ summarizes our work. We feel ourselves to be pioneers of the truth – the true pioneers were those who practiced agriculture over 150 years ago without the deceptive technical comforts of today and particularly those farsighted individuals who, during the industrial boom, warned against the error man would make in attempting to manage their lands.
As careful observers, we believe that there are two fundamental qualities that should never be forgotten in our operations: artisanal workmanship and authenticity.
In recent years we have lost the standard of artisanal workmanship. It is a concept which runs contrary to industrial logic, based on the necessity to make all things uniform, to homogenize, favour a stratified economy, plan often short term marketing strategies, etc. At times, negative concepts are associated with artisanal workmanship, such as imprecision, approximation and empiric.
Observing the products carefully, however, products which can last over time are precisely those created by the knowledgeable hands of artisans - from their intuition, creativity and professionalism. The wares of an able artisan, in fact, have the quality of becoming unique and not-easily unrepeatable.
During the long process for the production of wine – which goes from the planning of the vineyard to the marketing of the resulting bottles – there are a myriad of moments in which the artisanal vintner can influence the quality of his wines. Without going into a lengthy description, I would like to cite just one of the principle qualities of the artisan, that “handmade” quality which reduces the mechanisation of the processes of production and vinification of the grapes to a minimum. Managing a vineyard by hand means getting as close as possible to the natural growth process and in the cellar means avoiding the use of artifices which end up changing the genuine expression of the product.
The artisan, in any case, is not just the designer and creator of his products, but also the protagonist in the quality and authenticity of his products. For this reason he must be considered a sort of “sentinel” – the guardian and custodian of the identity of his vineyard and lands.
The standard of authenticity which continuously influences our activity has a very clear and profound meaning which goes well beyond the goal of a simple, organic production of wine.
For us, authenticity means, first and foremost, growing the plants by imitating in minute detail the most evolved method that exists – nature itself. This means, therefore, avoiding the use of chemical products on our vines, using mechanization as little as possible (which is governed by rules not created by nature), to avoiding external products in the cellar – products which end up deviating a wine from the land towards a good wine, but void of originality and a sense of its surroundings.
Of this we are firmly convinced: one cannot speak about authenticity if the chemical analysis of our wines reveals traces of pesticides or active chemical substances or if external products are used for the making and refinement of the wine.
Obviously it is not easy to produce grapes in an authentic manner and the vintner-cellarman must be well prepared to undertake the road to authenticity, but in the words of Socrates, “difficult are the things of beauty.”
The road to authenticity must start with the respect of three great fundamental forces of nature: the glory of the landscape, the silent perfection and the wholeness of the cycles of nature. These are the pilasters, which if lacking in the understanding of the farmer, would distance him from a careful management of his farm. As Goethe said, one needs perceptive understanding, an active perception which comes from the actual involvement in the process that a true artisan possesses.
Understanding “the silent perfection of being” is the second step. As Voiser stated, "the supreme judges of agronomical methods are not laboratory chemists, but the animals and plants.” The comprehension of this means that there is no better method that that which consists in imitating the perfection of nature itself, and only this method, without ulterior distractions or shortcuts, will lead to long-term equilibrium and self-sufficiency. This will convince us to apply the best natural techniques such as companion planting and mulching, that to fertilise means first to revitalise the soil and that revitalising the soil in its turn signifies a better control over disease and infestations than can ever be achieved chemically.
The third privilege is understanding the “completeness of the cycles of nature”. In nature, all the biological processes are carried out without waste or pollution, all the time preserving, even improving the fertility of the soil. Understanding the completeness of the cycles means also understanding, for example, that in nature there is disease, but these diseases are in any case governed by the same ecosystem and serve to reinforce the equilibrium. If one comprehends the completeness of the cycles, one also understands “that thinks to improve the work of the Creator is to commit the sin of presumption.” For this, the best agricultural method is that based on the imitation of and highest respect for the forces of nature. Authenticity is precisely this!
Authenticity is, therefore, a process of consciousness which allows us to understand how re-establishing our ties with nature is a basic tenant. The artisanal vintner must take care that the entire process runs in the right direction, that his dependence on chemical products is minimal or non-existent, and that his products are a result of the transformation, in a genuine way, of the forces of nature.