Vineyards and Territory

Our vineyards stand at an altitude between 430 and 470 meters above sea level.
The main exposure is south-east with an average slope of 15%, but a consistent part of the vineyards, approximately 4 hectares over 13, have south-west exposure and stand on a different hillside in respect to the orographic watershed.
The soil can geologically be defined as “clayey schists of pietraforte (sandstone)”; pietraforte is the rock on which our soils rest, while “clayey schists” is clay that is compressed on the surface that, due to weather conditions, gets broken down into smaller and smaller fragments generating the typical kind of soil called “galestro”.
This brief introduction on soil is very important. In fact soil is the dominant factor that influences the character of our wines.
On the other hand, the attention and care that we have for our vines are not to be underestimated, as our efforts are focussed on enhancing what is now commonly defined as “terroir”.
We are in fact convinced that, in order to obtain wines that respect the territory, we certainly need healthy and strong plants, where by strength we intend a strong capacity of “self-defence”, that is not obtained artificially by continuous chemical “treatments”, but that is mainly obtained by the plants having a proper “balance”.
Ours are “light” plants with few production buds and with a canopy that is ideally just barely sufficient to satisfy the nutritional needs of the plant and of the fruit.
We do not “force” the plants with chemical fertilizers, but we try to find the “fertility” of the soil, a live soil where microorganisms and already present minerals can “move” freely in order to provide nutrients for the roots of our vines.
We only use organic products, “compost” obtained from the natural fermentation of pruning residues and manure from a reliable source.
We too have to defend ourserlves against the most common pests of our vines, such as funguses (powdery mildew and mildew), but even in this case we use environment friendly products, as copper salts and natural sulphur. All this is much more effective and easy when our everyday commitment to carry out “proper agronomical management” (i.e. cleanliness, good air circulation and correct trellissing) is prompt and timely.
The following is a point that I like to stress: vineyard management that aims towards quality cannot be effective without a constant, careful and daily effort to optimize the relationship between the vegetative and the production aspects. This is perfectly in line with our idea of production that respects the environment and the territory without theorizing agricultural practices that are no more sustainable within a global market economy.
Are we organic growers?
From a formal point of view we certainly are, we are in fact certified by an organization that is responsible for the control of organic agriculture. This does not just represent an aim that we achieved, but a phase of our progress. It certainly was the aim to be achieved a few years ago, but it is now the new starting point for a constant research of a “sustainable” production.
Sustainable for the environment, sustainable for the growers that have to daily face a market that is sometimes unscrupulous, but of which we are part.
We have to constantly show that these words turn into “facts”, our “facts” are our wine, the fruit of our work and of our passion and intended as research of the maximum expression of our territory.

Luca Orsini

 
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