The vineyard, Ai Rorè, is one of the 1300 Italian organic wineries, certified since 1992. The De Stefani family follows strict agricultural regulations as defined by the European Regulations on organic winemaking 203/2012.
So what does it mean to both adopt and apply organic practices in the cultivation of vines? And why are there only 1300 wineries that choose natural viticulture methods? In 2015, a mere production of only 4.5 million of hectoliters were produced organically in comparison to the 275 million of hectoliters produced conventionally.
Today, the total quantity of terrain using organic viticulture methods represents an area of around 11%, that’s little more than a mere decimal of the total Italian winemaking territory. Fortunately, recent trends would seem to be making a shift towards an increase in this percentage, especially in the region where Prosecco is produced. To cultivate vines according to organic and biodynamic regulations is not an easy job. It signifies opting to work inside an alternative agronomic model. That is, to follow an Eco compatible system that reduces the minimum possibility of chemical residues and leads to a high quality, genuine product.
The vine, amongst the arboreal species, is amongst the best suited to an alternative organic type of management, especially with reference to the defense of parasites. At least three years are required for a full conversion of the " vineyard system " from conventional to organic. During this period the soil must be settled hydraulically and nourished with organic substances, preferably of animal origin. The defense system of the vines during this period is very delicate as the ranges of active principals used in pest management are limited, and this can often bring about the need for critical crop operations alongside the burden of heavy costs.
Even the choice of grape becomes fundamental in a crucial way and it’s also very important that the area where the grape will grow has all the correct inputs based on soil types and climatic indices.
In general the largest organic wine cultivation is in the south of Italy, Sicily being in first place due to a favorable climate, low levels of humidity prevent the growth of mould, making it ideal for organic agriculture.
On the hills of Refrontolo, where the wines selected by us come from, the weather is quite mild and the hills have a very well exposed sunny position. The rains are abundant and frequent, which keep at bay any problems caused by droughts, alongside providing significant and consistent thermal excursions during the hotter months when the grape is ripening.
Seeing as the zone where Prosecco DOCG is produced has certain advantages for the cultivation of organic vines shouldn’t more winemakers be encouraged to opt for the healthier and more natural way?