Farming is the human activity with the greatest impact on the environment.
If I compare the way I manage my vineyards today to the methods I used before, everything seems simpler and more fluid now. Some of the principles, as I work among the vines and observe their reaction, have become a part of my very being, of the way I perceive my environment: I cannot remember how it can be possible to manage a vineyard without having these principles clear in one's mind, like a picture.
Some years ago though, this picture was not there in my mind: still, my work proceeded all the same as I faced and solved the problems I was causing myself. Then I realised that technique and technology may always represent a good tactic but they can never be a good strategy and that for the earth – as is the case in music – rhythm and harmony have a fundamental importance.
Every day the roots of the vines, like the roots of the vinegrowers, dig deep into the earth, extracting through the grapes, and later concentrating in the wine, the character that makes us who we are: this is what I want to convey.
In 1924, Rudolf Steiner was invited to speak at a seminar on agriculture in Germany. The earth was starting to reveal a sense of malaise due to the widespread use of chemicals and was asking for new solutions. The Austrian philosopher's doctrine moved the perspective towards a holistic idea, seeking first of all harmony in the farm ecosystem: this was the only way to obtain the best from oneself and the land. Biodynamic agriculture was born, a natural technique for farming the land and a veritable philosophy of life.
There is no room for chemical products. Preparations with bewitching names are used: Horn manure (a cow's horn is filled with manure and placed underground until it is mature) and horn silica, as well as all the available plants. Valerian, chamomile, stinging nettles, fennel, dandelion plants. In the cellar, no selected starter yeasts are used, no filtering nor fining while racking and bottling are carried out to the moon's rhythm. In the end, every vintage is a world unto itself - an ultimate expression of the terroir and its farmer.
Soil fertilization is carried out with cow manure, preferably from the farm, green manure is used (leguminous plants and wheat-like grasses are planted and later ploughed back into the soil to increase its fertility), manual operations substitute machines. The rest is a constant dialogue with nature using ones senses: to walk, touch, see, smell, listen and taste; this is the meaning of biodynamic farming for me.