Our vineyard has always been left to its original habitat surrounded by woods and fields. We grow a few of the local vine varieties such as Durella, Garganega and the more known Cabernet Frank, Pinot Nero, and Riesling Renano. All of the vines are treated following a severe protocol called “Regola della Valle d’Agno” which goes back to the ancient native agriculture principles. Vinification follows the same rule: the less intervention the better. From the grapevine to the bottle we want our wine to express the typicality of the terroir; we want to maintain the richness of the ground in our product and to show the true origin of the wine.
Biodynamic Agriculture is founded on a way of thinking, an act which respects both its perceivable and its cosmic and extrasensory reality. It’s a holistic understanding that involves:
- to turn down the use of chemical soil treatments and off-farm inputs
- to only grow vines appropriate to the area
- to encourage the conservation and incremental of the soil fertility through organic fertilization
- to enhance the natural regulation (self-sustainability) processes
- to abstain from extreme specialisation (to embrace diversity in crop rotation and perennial planting) both for ethical and ecologic reasons
This is seen especially in:
- the use of biodynamic preparations
- the process of home made compost heap (which nowadays is very common also in biological agriculture)
- some of the agronomic methods used (see respective chapter)
- the respect of biological and cosmic rhythms
In the past, agriculture had a significant ritual value: every job was done in order to please the gods. In later cultures, agriculture became a form of community service; it is an important job that requires big responsibilities and knowledge of the land in order for the population to survive. Farmers gleaned experiences and their understanding of the land through the observation of the natural manifestations.
Nature is characterised by 4 different vital levels:
Spiritual Level “The self”: it is the universal sphere that encloses everything. From this sphere all of the others are generated. Men are the only beings able to consciously connect with it, whereas the other beings are unconsciously engaged with it.
Animic Level “Astral body”: it is the feelings sphere, in which men and animals act.
Vital level “Vital body”: this is the sphere where all of the vital processes are enclosed; such as the growth, the metabolism and the reproduction.
Physical Level “Physical body”: this is the sphere of the physical matter, of the substance. Everything in nature belongs to this level: minerals, plants, animals, and humans.
In our winery we have to deal every day with each one of these levels. When it comes to employing a technical activity we work at a physical level. The physical foundation of our farm is the rock. We shape our physical space through the way we shape the objects and the landscape of our farm, whereas when farming we work to the living level. Therefore, all of the activities are differentiated as the living beings are in constant transformation ruled by self laws.
We always try to create the best conditions for every living being to grow and coexist in harmony. We undergo the animic level in nature and its relationship with animals trying to communicate and understand them. Through our feelings and the way we let animals express themselves we mould the astral framework. The animic level represents the relationships sphere, the spiritual level is the one that permeates all. It is in this way that culture takes shape: the cultivated plants, the domestic animals and the cultivated landscape; these are the fundamentals that our agricultural individuality originates.
The spiritual level is the one that allows us as human beings to communicate with each other through our thoughts. When we think we shape things to a spiritual level; we can give form to our environment following its natural potentialities, we can help it to transform and improve. This is a great responsibility for us. Sometimes, we must ask ourselves: “What is the meaning of agriculture and what is the whole point of it?”. On one hand there is ‘High-tech agriculture’ which is a far cry from where it originated: nature. Paradoxically, this method of production generates huge amounts of products, often in surplus. It is questionable whether these products can nourish men in a full and appropriate way or not; whether both the astral and the physical body can be fed or just the physical one.
On the other hand, there is the biodynamical idea which enhances the return to the original and natural cultivation of the land. Biodynamic philosophy comes from the science of the anthroposophic spirit. It follows a different path creating the ideal and practical basis to maintain the vitality of the soil and foster the formation of humus. Thus, thanks to the use of this practice men can receive all of the energies from the products that they need for a physical and spiritual development and growth.