Yesterday, Barone Pizzini and CEO Silvano Brescianini hosted one of the world’s leading wine writers and foremost experts on natural wines for a tasting and winery tour.
Vineyard manager and agronomy professor Pierluigi Donna talked about his research in soil health.
One of the most important elements in his work with Barone Pizzini, he said, was the fact that they use universally embraced standards for the measurement of nitrogen levels and the presence of organisms.
He noted, for example, that soil samples from Barone Pizzini are currently being evaluated in a laboratory in New Zealand. Through his work with the University of Milan and agronomists in other wine-producing countries, he and his colleagues have established criteria that allow them to compare soil health across the globe and thus give researchers more reliable (and more easily verifiable) data by which they can assess soil quality and its impact on winemaking.
There is no better agricultural expression than wine, he said, to demonstrate how soil health can improve the final product.
Silvano also spoke passionately about the arc of Barone Pizzini’s mission to introduce organic farming in Franciacorta. Barone Pizzini became the first organic farmer in the appellation in the 1990s and went on to become the first certified organic farmer there. Today, roughly 50 percent of the appellation is farmed organically.
He also talked about the never-ending drive to make an impact through organic winemaking.
It’s not enough, he said, to simply grow grapes and make wine without the use of chemicals.
It’s also a matter of using labels crafted with inks that don’t pollute the environment; using lighter glass that reduces the winery’s carbon foot print; using thinner foil in the capsule to reduce the amount of metals introduced into landfills…
The list goes on and on, he noted.
Although organic winemaking is a means to achieve greater quality in the wines, he said that there is a greater scope to their work. Through their approach, their “small contribution” helps to raise awareness of the use and presence of chemicals in farming practices and the agricultural products we consume.
It’s not enough to believe that what you are doing is right, he said. One must also share those beliefs in order to make the world a better place for us and for our children.