The success of organic wines is undisputed in the world and in my “beautiful country”: Italy. Whether it’s a trend or a better care in what we eat or both, is difficult to determine.
The attention, for organic wine is evident under different points of view. First of all, there is a growing number of initiatives and showcases intended for Bio, not least the pavilion “Vinitalybio” opened for the first time at Vinitaly in April 2014, for example. Not only, even politicians, in Italy, are destinating funds to this field.
Organic means NO chemicals, respect for nature and its cycles according to the rules already identified at European level. These regulations govern both the grape farming in the vineyard and the wine-making systems in the cellar.
A few examples:
- YES to crop rotation and the preservation of woods and ponds in order to preserve the natural mechanism that prevents, in some cases, damages which then would require the use of chemicals; moreover, there also are natural methods to prevent some specific diseases.
- NO to GMO or to synthetic chemicals (fertilizers or herbicides, fungicides or insecticides, pesticides in general).
Everything is done under the strict control of the authorities required to verify any accidental contamination too. Another issue is the Sulfites content, allowed in a quantity lower and lower than traditional production.
An important choice, therefore, that requires to producers about 3 years of work (at least) for the so-called “conversion”
Skeptics should make a further reflection this year, with this difficult vintage, the 2014; This is because I have already read about the “revenge of the organic”. The Attention to nature and its cycles-in general, for everyone- seems to have been the only way to salvation. The producers of organic wines -according to some- seem to be more accustomed to the unexpected, as if the plant was more in balance with nature, and probably will result if not extraordinary, at least satisfactory in many cases, we’ll see. In any case, it would be a rematch with a double value when you consider the tortuosity of the road traveled before it was made possible for italian producers, the use, on the label of the term “organic wine” and the European logo.
At this point, what is missing is a strategy to make italian organic wines well recognize abroad.
So, now, what is the experience of the Italian producers and, in particular, of Roberto Ceraudo, known winemaker in Calabria region (southern Italy, in other words “the toe of the boot”)? (read some articles on Ceraudo here).
Roberto Ceraudo, started with organic production more or less in 1988 with excellent results right from the beginning until his company was considered a “pilot company” at regional level.
Everything happens as a result of an accident because of which Robert was hit just while he was carrying out a chemical treatment in the vineyard. Risking serious damage on his skin, he realized how these substances could damage the vineyards too. Nothing more “simple” but effective.
Today, the company covers an area of 60/70 hectares of vineyards (not to mention the olive groves) and is surrounded by approximately 3000 hectars which are not grown at all so, he does not suffers any contamination. “The philosophy of the organic production is prevention to avoid the care, that’s what distinguishes it from traditional systems and it is probably what has allowed -even in this hard vintage (2014)- to obtain quite good results” this is what Roberto has answered when I asked an opinion about the results of this last harvest that seems to have been smooth in that area.