The Avignonesi winery, in Montepulciano, Italy, is planting a 10-acre plot of grape vines called La Stella (The Star) in a most uncommon method: it’s focusing on the connection of nature to accomplish a successful environment of development and activity. This means eliminating stringent adherence to a particular method of pruning vines and allowing other plants to grow amongst them. It’s a concept inspired by ancestral practices that didn’t focus on monoculture.
If all goes as prepared, it will become a biodiversity sanctuary, a location where vines will grow in a lush, ever-blooming garden of bushes, shrubs, medical herbs, and fruit trees and where insects, birds, and other animals will flourish. Geese will have their own space in the plot, given that they’ll play an essential function in controling lawn growth and maintaining soil fertility. (To make certain they feel at home, they’ll have a pond to swim in below the vineyard.) Migratory birds will also be brought in to the hedges and trees, which will provide haven on their journeys. Then there are the bats, which will have a starring role in insect policy, not to discuss sheep and bunnies, which will also occupy the location.
This job was conceived by owner and winemaker Virginie Saverys, agronomist Alessio Gorini, and a dedicated production team who all hope the vineyard will hit a sweet spot in resolving the truth of nature’s interdependent systems, environment modification, and soil health. Her 680-acre estate is already among the leading biodynamic producers in Tuscany, and just made an evasive B-Corp accreditation (a personal accreditation of for-profit business of their “social and ecological efficiency”). Saverys, a Belgian-born former lawyer, believes sustainability is the key to making great wine and more. “The objective of the brand-new Stella will not be just the production of exceptional white wines as viewed by the mainstream market. Its objective is to free the vines from their confinement and spread them in an entourage propitious to the fullness of their faculties. We understand this is a groundbreaking project, and we wish to set an example for future generations” she states.
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more wine makers– confronted with environmental difficulties and growing social concerns– are reassessing current techniques of wine and wine making. Numerous, consisting of major players like Moët Hennessy and Rivetto, are also considering agroforestry (interplanting vines with trees and shrubs) as a possible technique to viticulture in the future.
Saverys hopes La Stella will end up being a sanctuary where terrific Sangiovese grapes are just one of the results. “We want to make these typical practices that can be applied to many other contexts. The majority of this attention will have an impact on the environment instead of on the specific attributes of the white wine. We want to produce a wine that has a local color and time, able to convey the consistency we are attempting to produce within the vineyard,” states Gorini.
Healthy soil at Avignonesi
The vineyard will cover one of the plots at the winery’s hospitality center at La Fattoria delle Capezzine. The Italian benefactor Angelo Vegni constructed a factory here during the late 19th century, with the objective of uniting farming activities particular to Tuscan climate and soils and making polyculture an almost important choice. This visionary technique still resonates today in the “modern” idea of the circular economy. Saverys points out that new plantings like hers are not implied to be exclusive or out of reach for other wine manufacturers looking for real options into the future. “La Stella should be an example of environmentally friendly viticulture from an ecological and socio-economic standpoint. We should create not a thriftless method of farming unaffordable for a lot of winegrowers but a motivating design simple to copy or adapt” she says.The plot area
has actually already been cleared and the soil is being permitted to rest for 3 full years so that soil health can be optimal. The very first trees will be planted in 2023, and vines the following year. It will probably be 2027 prior to the first harvest from this grand experiment. Will we be able to taste the distinction in a wine made from grapes grown in this picturesque environment? We simply might.Le Capezzine Courtesy Avignonesi Karen Lubeck writes about wine and culture for Townandcountrymag.com.