Return to the Future - Biodiversity
“Dott. ANTONINI ALBERTO
“I think the wine project that we are developing at I Ciacca is of great interest because the environment has great potential to produce fine wines with character, personality, identity and great quality. What attracted me from the very first visit I made was the calcareous SOIL, well drained and with excellent exposure; the ALTITUDE (600 meters above sea level) that allows a large temperature range between day and night and especially during maturation low night temperatures favour the development of aromatic complexity , freshness and vitality in wines; and great BIODIVERSITY in the environment with woods, olive groves, herbaceous plants and vines, which I now consider to be indispensable to producing the highest quality wine.
“I am also excited to be able to develop the whole project with organic farming, which does not use synthetic chemicals and respects the integrity of the environment and the authentic character of the wines produced. It was also important to have decided to plant vineyards and produce wines only with varieties native to Val di Comino, like Maturano, which makes the project even more attractive.
“Val di Comino, where I Ciacca is to be found, is a fascinating place for its purity and lack of contamination and reminds me with its hills, limestone soils, altitudes and biodiversity of the great wine regions such as Chianti, Barolo , Burgundy or Rioja ....definitely a place where there is a very high potential to produce fine wines and where there are also many native historic varieties abandoned due to international varieties of fashion but which are now recovering, partly because consumers are showing more and more interest for native varieties from the various regions of Italy.
“To be consistent with the concept of estate wines and authenticity we decided to develop a winery that could incorporate the complexity and character of organic grapes and turn them into a wine that speaks truthfully of their place of origin, it was important to devise the least aggressive process for the treatment of the grapes (which is why we have chosen a gravity system) in conceiving the cellar to create a natural environment for all the forms of life which arrive with the grapes and then the exclusive use of natural materials such as cement and traditional large oak barrels (distinct from the traditional French barrique) to make and mature the wines. Our idea is to "return to the future" rediscovering ancient production techniques that will help us make our wines excellent and appreciated in national and international markets.
“In a country rich in history, traditions and that has hundreds of varieties of native grapes, to be colonised by France with its varieties and its techniques for maturation (I mean the barrels that we are not going to use in favour of the traditional large barrels) is not just what we want.....
“I'm impressed by the fact that the grapes that I tried in various vineyards of Val di Comino fascinated me for their character and I think that working organically with great care for the management of the soil and the plants we can really produce wines that will leave a mark.
“I’m also very supportive for the development of the Center of Excellence in Agronomy, Wine and Gastronomy because it could really be, as well as a forum for discussion and training on three related topics, also a place where we discuss the recovery of a beautiful area, uncontaminated and with great potential in wine and agricultural quality that has been abandoned in recent decades for social and economic reasons removing from the young hope of finding a future in their homeland. I
believe that this Center could instead rediscover the enthusiasm and the energy necessary to revitalise the valley to the social and economic level it merits.
“To recover abandoned land, restore the hydrogeological fabric, the beautiful old, abandoned buildings, to aim for sustainable agriculture and organic farming and to produce authentic products from the land are elements that can really give hope to the region in a more natural way and re- attract people to the territory.
“Surely if the project continues with high quality standards in human resources development agency there should be strong interest from national and international sponsors and potential partners who are interested to become part of it because the natural products are each day conquering niches that the market finds more interesting and attractive. It is now clear that the fascination that the agricultural products and food of Italy has for the market is closely linked to the diversity which each region can offer and which many other countries cannot, which is why we must stay focused on our traditions with the ability to promote them in a globalised world.