The key concept at Dievole is “respect” – for its centuries-long history as well as for recent events, for the earth, the vines, the olive trees and the people who work here.
Sustainability in a winery means doing everything an eye to the future, knowing that the earth you’re standing on has been producing wine for hundreds of years and has to do so for another thousand. Dievole was established in the year 1090 and we have to think about the year 3000 just as much as the 2015 harvest.
Here are 9 ways that Dievole applies a sustainable production concept to the winery.
- Sangiovese. This grape is historically associated with Chianti Classico territory and is the greatest expression of Dievole’s terroir. Focusing on its production is a way of respecting this history.
- Progetto Fidelio. Although we concentrate on Sangiovese, the Progetto Fidelio at Dievole involves some 30 lines of vines that are the DNA of the winemaker and the property: each line is a different grape variety, preserved in case of need.
- Soil. In recent years we’ve begun a project to regenerate the earth through natural means, totally eliminating chemical fertilizers. One method is that of planting seeds that help oxygenate and nurture the soil deep down, in a natural way (read more about this in our article here). What we wish for is a healthy, self-sustaining soil that requires very minimal human intervention.
- Harvest by hand. Harvest is done entirely by hand in order to select the best grapes, working section by section for about three weeks. When possible, picking is done at night and in evening hours when it’s cooler, diminishing the need for refrigeration on the way to the press.
- A Clean Cellar. We don’t use any chemical cleaning agents are used our wine cellar, only hot water, in respect for the wine as well as for the people in that space.
- Natural yeast. Only autochthonous – or naturally occurring – yeast is used to kickstart the fermentation process in our cellars. We don’t add any additional or chemical yeasts or products.
- Insect control… in a natural way! Hand in hand with banning chemical fertilizers is banning chemical insecticides, especially systemic ones that would also kill harmless or positive insects. Rather, we use techniques such as sexual confusion, which block certain moths from laying eggs on the vines.
- Olives. Where vines thrive, so do olive trees – both dot the Tuscan landscape, and both are present at Dievole. Our renewed extra virgin olive oil project is part of this recognition that olive groves are part of the historical tradition of this place and part of this respect for territory about which we feel strongly.
- Ancient trails. Dievole has recently restored a series of paths on the property that used to be the roads sharecroppers took to their farms. This respect for history – a history of people – is part of the way that Dievole gives back to the community: the 27km Natural Path is open to the public for hiking, biking and horseback riding.