A Team of Friends
We might sound strange, but we believe that products express the love people have been investing in them. That’s why we invest a lot in our people. We are involved both economically and emotionally with them: we are a team of friends. Most of them have been working here for years, and they are very proud of the wines we make here. Particularly Sebastian (our chief-oenologist) and Alessandro (our chief-agronomist): we love to have lunches and dinners together discussing our wines and comparing them with others.
Excellence in food & wine: Who defines the highest levels of quality? Many producers are in the “pursuit of excellence” even if today “becoming the best” is getting harder. The outcome of such competition results in a variety of “interpretations of excellence” that allow us to enjoy the many faces of perfection.
*We accept the notion that our excellence is the product of winemaking practices that we conceive as the best possible. It means that we accept the limits that our sensibility has in defining those practices, and we go through experience and confrontation with any kind of criticism so that we can constantly increase such sensibility.
We chase the essential expression of our vineyards in this unique soil. The biodynamic approach, in absence of chemical interventions, allows our plants to grow in the most natural way possible. This way they can express the authenticity of the soil, the microclimate, and the grape varieties of Podere Le Ripi.
Our wines, regardless of the grape variety, are recognisable even in different vintages because they develop peculiar notes – both in aroma and structure – which are strictly connected to this terroir. I advocate that this is related to the fact that our plants grow in a natural environment and therefore they can express the geological and chemical structure of the soil.
For instance, since the very beginning, I truly wanted to preserve the original flora: flowers, herbs, the micro-flora and the mycorrhiza developed in the centuries before. To maintain this biodiversity, we did not plough the land by turning it upside down, but we simply moved the compacted land to permit oxygenation.
Alright, we all know this quote. But what does it actually mean? There are two different approaches to vinification:
"The terroir’s element that marks a wine the most is, in my opinion, the composition of the soil". Our soil is composed by:
We harvest the grapes by hand, then we put them in baskets in the early morning to bring them fresh to the cellar.
Sometimes the fog forces us to wait because of too much dew moistening the grapes. We halt until its evaporation and then we harvest as fast as possible: we do not want our grapes to warm up under the sun. We try to pick them in two different stages: first we choose the ripe grapes and, a few days later, those which are not ripe yet. Nevertheless, the yield is very poor, 3.000 kilograms per hectare, and the maturation is almost equal throughout the plantation.
If some grapes are slightly ahead in the maturation process, they will bring the highest amount of sugars and tannins, whereas the slightly less ripe ones will balance out with great acidity and big aromas.
We must be very careful about the completely unripe grapes, which give the wine bitter tannins also called "green tannins", releasing a rougher and greenish sensation into the wine. For this reason, I always fight against the weather: we need to be brave and wait. In September and October, it is common to see the weather getting worse and we are often forced to wait until the plants have fully absorbed the rain. But we know very well that if the grapes are not perfectly ripe we will make defective wines, and that’s how we find the patience!