C’a la Bionda has been practicing organic viticulture and wine-making since the year 2000. The process of obtaining official certification began in 2012.
The 2016 vintage is the winery’s first with official organic certification. Official certification is important in that it ensures rigorous controls which provide a guarantee to the consumer.
In organic viticulture the use of chemical and synthesised pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers is prohibited. We have been using the technique of “sexual confusion” in our vineyards for many years now. This is a useful technique in protecting the vineyard from parasites such as caterpillars, grape worms and butterflies, it also eliminates the need to use environmentally damaging insecticides. The technique involves releasing female insect pheromones which divert the male insect from the female and therefore drastically reducing the possibility of larvae being born.
In our biodiversity project we grow native-breed sheep “Brogna of Lessinia mountain” to keep the vines clean from the weeds and by the way to fertilize the soil naturally.
We cultivate cover, secondary, crops between vine rows in our vineyards which we then plough back into the vineyard soil. This provides the soil with nitrogen, carbon and other micro elements which contribute to vine health and ultimately better quality grapes.
To remain faithful to our organic and environmentally sustainable approach to viticulture we only use wild yeasts in our ferments and use minimal Sulphur Dioxide, no more than a quarter of what is permitted in conventional wine-making. The grapes harvested from vine rows bordering vineyards that are not ours are sold off in order to be sure that any contamination from sprays used by our neighbours will not pollute our own grapes.
The real meaning or significance of organic viticulture and wine-making is to accept the adversities that nature brings , our task is to deal with these adversities in a natural, and not chemical, way. Ultimately, this creates the intimate bond with nature that enables us to cultivate rather than to exploit, the only means we have of faithfully transforming nature’s excellence into an equally excellent glass of wine.
Organic means not only to respect the natural world around us but also the people, families and communities who are part of this natural world and who populate our agricultural lands.