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Choosing sustainability as an alternative to traditional techniques can become a corporate philosophy. This is what has Baron Ricasoli’s company has done over the past years investing in modern studies and equipment so to environmentally sustain the land.

The eldest Italian wine company is embraced by the vineyards that surround the estate and the old wine cellar, renovated in a modern design, offers a striking contrast.

The farm director, Massimiliano Biagi, an agronomist, welcomes us and speaking about what they have  worked on and the results obtained: “The company has decided to be sustainable towards the environment rather than just follow the market demand for biological produce.”

For four years – he explains – tests were carried out in managing about 40 hectares of land in a difficult area, producing organic grapes, using only organic products in prevention. We compared this with the integrated management, and obtained some important considerations.”

Studies that have allowed them to understand which products and treatments are needed, at the expense of the land. Choosing integrated crop production has focused attention on the preservation and protection of a healthy natural environment, under all aspects: “Managing the vineyard with organic fertilization, eliminating the use of herbicides, choosing that equipment best suited to the stony soil conformation of the these areas,” says the agronomist, “defending through predictive models, not absolute, but very reliable, so as to find those ideal conditions for treating or not. Techniques on which we aim to conserve our precious land.”

He explains how modern technological innovations have been decisive in this change made years ago: electronic devices installed on the ground have collected weather data that were then sent to a spin-off study at the University of Piacenza, bringing to forecast models of diseases.

The company, which greatly believes in all this, thinks that the initial investments in time will pay off: “The management of land with different geological origin has shown the need to respect slopes and adapt the vineyards’ shape to that of the land “, Massimiliano says, “Therefore, we have designed a fan system that is directed according to the slope without changing the hill in any way. We also produce compost and fertilizers with the branches of pruned vines along with the manure of animals bred locally, rather than burning them and wasting energy as heat. These are then used before planting new vines.”

The next step for Baron Ricasoli will be to become part of a certification on environmental, ethical and economical sustainability. This to confirm that they are on track but that there is still considerable scope for improvement in the field.

The recent flagship was the clonal selection of two of their Sangiovese: “Thanks to the company centennial history we found a native Sangiovese that it was possible to graft and watch, following the procedure of cloning certification, thus obtaining the two clones” .

Thse will be part of the heritage of the company, more sustainable and durable than new materials that are on the market. A story over a century long projected into the future.

Silvia Rabatti