MAKING ORGANIC WINES IN SICILY, FEUDO SANTA TRESA
The origins of Feudo Santa Tresa are rooted in friendship and a strong belief in doing things differently.
Dating back to 1697, the Santa Tresa winery is situated in Vittoria, Sicily and spans 50 hectares of beautiful terra rossa soil. It is a handsome property surrounded by palm trees, fruit orchards and organic vineyards.
Back in the early noughties, Stefano Girelli, founder of The Wine People and of Casa Girelli 90’s fame, was looking for the ideal property to bring to life his Sicilian wine dream. This is when Santa Tresa caught his eye.
A strong believer in organic and sustainable farming practices, he identified Sicily as the perfect region to grow high quality organic wine grapes.
The island has a strong wine history, thanks to its climate, which is dry, sunny and benefiting from sea breezes and fertile soils. In the South East, where Santa Tresa is based, the weather is very hot and dry and influenced by the Sahara Desert – when the wind is blowing in the right direction the sands of the Sahara have even been known to dust the vineyards. This makes for very little disease and perfect conditions for organic viticulture.
Back in 2002, old friends Stefano Girelli and renowned winemaker Stefano Chioccioli (who has been awarded 100 Parker points no less than 3 times) decided to use Santa Tresa to create high quality organic wine.
Not only was Santa Tresa’s climate perfect for organic vine-growing, the range of terroirs and their characteristics allowed Girelli to step up wine quality in a major way. By 2009 the estate was fully certified organic by Suolo e Salute and Santa Tresa was producing six different styles, all typical of Sicily and all displaying Santa Tresa’s unique characteristics. Cabernet Sauvignon vines inherited when the estate was purchased, were phased out in favour of the local Perricone, which is ideally suited to Santa Tresa’s terroir.
Girelli has always taken a completely sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach, which culminated in organic certification for the estate, something he is convinced results in wines of the finest and purest expression.
Each Santa Tresa wine has its own story to tell from the “Super-Sicilian” block-buster Avulisi Nero d’Avola, to the delicate and complex Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
Today the estate lives and breathes organic practices, with a deep commitment to the local environment. The focus is on local grape varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Grillo and Perricone, all of which flourish with no need for any pesticides. This means wildlife flourishes too, Stefano has a fantastic side line in organic honey!
All wines produced at Feudo Santa Tresa are 100% vegan friendly too.
To listen to Stefano talking about the estate follow these links (courtesy of Loch Fyne Restaurant):
SHIRAZ WILDERNESS, THE FIRST ORGANIC WINE FROM DE BORTOLI
De Bortoli are one of Australia’s leading family owned wineries. With their Italian heritage – they’re third generation from Prosecco’s Asolo region – good food and good wine are at the very core of their ethos. To achieve this, they are at the very forefront when it comes to sustainability. They know their future lies in looking after the health of their soils and plants and carefully managing Australia’s precious water resources.
The family go well beyond mandatory requirements, adopting a wide range of innovative programs and practices. Changes they’ve made in the vineyard have not only brought environmental and sustainable benefits but have also resulted in healthier fruit that produces better quality wine which, in turn, leads to a healthier bottom line. It’s a classic win-win situation! The ultimate and achievable goal is to be a 'Zero Waste Wine Company'.
Wilderness Shiraz is De Bortoli’s first step towards organic and is new to their range in 2018. Whilst the grapes aren’t grown in the wilderness (organic vineyard sites in S.E.A. actually!), De Bortoli do appreciate nature, and this organic wine is as close to the natural purity of the wilderness as they can make it. The wine is also 100% vegan friendly.
Organic conversion is underway in De Bortoli’s Riverina vineyard sites. Watch this space for more news soon!
Watch this video to see the steps taken by De Bortoli Wines to become a 'Zero Waste Wine Company':
LA GIOIOSA, A PREMIUM PROSECCO WITH A CONSCIENCE
People will quite often associate La Gioiosa with high quality premium Prosecco or with the notion of heritage and grandeur brought by owners, the Moretti Polegato family.
The brand, which is very successful in the UK market, is now the biggest selling premium Prosecco in the Impulse sector (Nielsen March 2018). The family owned winery has always been rigorous in the way it produces its wines and it has achieved international recognition on this basis, as well as for unique premium packaging.
What few people realise is that the winery has applied the same strong work ethic to lowering its environmental impact. Over the last few years it has worked relentlessly to achieve several certifications and has conducted various ‘green’ research projects. Here is a summary of two key projects:
La Gioiosa is certified “Biodiversity Friend” by the WBA (World Biodiversity Association).
WBA certification was pioneered by a group of naturalists, botanists, zoologists and simple enthusiasts of nature, engaged in knowledge and conservation of biodiversity in Italy and all around the world. La Gioiosa Asolo DOCG Brut was the first Prosecco DOCG to be awarded this status.
La Gioiosa believe in this project so much they devoted their highest quality vineyards, in the heart of the DOCG area, to these sustainability practices.
The Certification underpins the company’s commitment to viticulture practices with low environment impact to safeguard the biodiversity or ‘animal and vegetal species’ living in a specific area.
La Gioiosa For Life
Being committed to environmental issues, La Gioiosa has started its own eco project called La Gioiosa for Life. So far this has resulted in the installation of a hydroelectric power plant and photovoltaic panels to sustainably produce 50% of its annual energy requirements!