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2018 AT LA MALIOSA

This part of the Maremman hills, which borders Tuscia, has shown a very diversified climatic trend recently. In a few short years, there have been extreme drought – parts of 2016 and 2017 – and high temperatures, but also floods – 2012 and 2014 – and unusual temperatures far below the average. Continue reading…

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RAW WINE NY 2018: QUANTIFYING CARBON & WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Click here to listen the podcast of Antonella Manuli‘s speech. Continue reading…

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2017 IN THE VINEYARD AT CUDÉ (TRAONA, VALTELLINA)

Introduction to the territory

Valtellina is the largest terraced area in Europe. The dry walls that support the terraces are made of granite rocks, arranged by hand with professional craftsmanship by subsequent generations throughout the centuries. It is estimated that the Valtellina walls cover an impressive overall distance of 2,500km. Furthermore the total area cultivated on the terraces amounts to about 1,000 hectares. Close to the northern part of Lake Como is Traona, a village whose name can be traced back to the expression “terra bona”, a nod to the fertility of the land and healthiness of the climate. Right here, in a south-facing position, is the Cudé vineyard, of over 1 ha. Continue reading…

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2017, a lesson of patience and acceptance

I have always thought wine represents a “sign of the times”, our time, which is spent silently and without pause. Nowadays, this adage is all the more true and I better understand when, as a child, my parents would speak of a bottle, of a vintage that was significantly different from another, and that some were missing because that year, the weather did not allow the production of wine. The conversation, accompanied by that specific bottle, helped guide our thought process about the changing climate, the events that occurred, the births and the deaths. It spoke of the vicissitude of people of all sorts and characters, of strong and unforgettable memories. The conversation was governed by the elders but, with good grace, the women managed to add their piece into the discussion with surprisingly lucid and concrete assessments (the accident happened that year, Piero was in hospital for a long time, it hailed early in the spring, Luigi had the mumps … rather than the measles…). In this way, we discussed the weather, the seasons, the passage of time; and the vintage was witnessed by the bottle that was ‘labelled’ with a chalk inscription, which lasted better in the cellar, where the crutin* was often damp in summer.
But let’s discuss what happened in 2017, in that wonderful Tuscan corner beloved by the Etruscans and witness of endless generations that have left traces in the dwellings as well as in the surrounding cultivated area. One fact sums up everything: between October 2016 and October 2017, less than 200mm of water fell… a figure you’d expect in the desert. Continue reading…

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WE MUST CHOOSE HEALTH

The entire wine sector has greatly progressed in the implementation of the environmental values of the territory and of consolidated expertise in the cellar. All you have to do is travel the peninsula to observe the numerous projects that in various degrees produce very special landscapes. Continue reading…

Filare vigneto e fiori di campo
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A YEAR FOR THE ROOTS

Wine, especially “natural” wine, must also be interpreted as an organic ‘gauge’ of climate trends because it collects and variously exhibits the consequences of water availability, temperature, thermal excursions and light. These phenomena allow us to reconstruct the climate in addition to simply talking about the taste: it’s beautiful and fascinating to taste a wine from 1947 and remember the hot year or a wine from 1977, a cool and rainy year, or from 1997, 2003 and so on. Tree growth is recorded by the distance between the concentric rings of the stem that allow us to read climate succession. Wine, which doesn’t live as long, enables us to retrace a certain period in the past and also enjoy, at a distance, the memories and emotions connected to it. A vintage is always an expectation and surprise that has fueled, in the past, an important and extensive list of popular sayings that have combined climate stages with the promise of crops. These ‘forecasts’ derived from long experience and tests passed down the generations have certainly not lost their validity and we continue to experience them (e.g. ‘a year without winter will be without summer’, ‘a difficult year for grain will be difficult for grapes’…). But above all, undertaking agriculture means choosing the road of foresight, prudence, timeliness and patience.
The vineyard, with its woody plants for several decades of fruiting, should be considered by its growing seasons, i.e. periods of a few years that even from a climatic point of view can be highly variable and therefore require different commitments. In general, while summers are mostly favourable for important and durable red wines (although the vines suffer the heat), cooler and wet years increase the vegetation and thus the roots as they grow.
The year 2014 will certainly be remembered in the North and all the way to the Maremma Tuscany for the greenery spread everywhere. It’s quite a sight to see the trees, hedgerows, meadows and wooded areas in their vegetative luxuriance while the water tables overflow. We’ve also experienced high rain intensity (let’s not call them bombs!) and their consequences, which must also give pause to our activities, agricultural and otherwise. For the vineyard, the reduced solar energy in July was notable: in 20 years on average the bioclimatic Winkler scale has been 465, this year it was about 38% less; and even in August it was not so hot. The classic diseases have kept wine growers busy and sometimes there have been failures. But above all, once again we received confirmation of the territorial ‘suitability’ for vineyards and good use of heritage varietals.

Basically we tend to enjoy a good climate and a periodic climate variability that is constant. In 2014, summer was swift and then never arrived in terms of regularity and effectiveness. Rainfall (in July there were on average 21 days in rain) is another rare and very favourable aspect for roots. Thus it has been a great year for the roots, which are ready to explore the terrain and prepare new butches and tastes. Fortunately, the weather thinks about the roots because some of us only ever think of the fruit of the tree, ‘forgetting’ that the plant has basic needs unless it is to succumb prematurely. Continue reading…

L’ANNATA PER LE RADICI_00
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La Maliosa: precious products from ancient sites and preserved nature

After three intense years at La Maliosa, I’ve had, thanks to the goals shared with Antonella Manuli, the opportunity of a stimulating reinterpretation of my knowledge and scientific agronomic experience that I never thought I could still undertake.

After the usual initial approach based on my training and prolonged experience, I slowly matured, on-site, an application that I would not have expected to be so multifaceted. Upon arriving, I was struck by an environmental landscape “from the past”: the woods, the presence of wild animals, limited cultivated spaces and special situations, such as land arising from an agriculture that dates back to Roman times and even prior, to the Etruscans. It’s clear that against this background, the farm choice could only be to respect, protect and promote the extraordinary ancient heritage of the area, a rare example of farming and viticultural archaeology. We also felt it was a homage to the history while facing a viticulture that these days is conceived and realised more and more like any other large agro-industrial cultivation. The locations of La Maliosa, however, required us to produce “preciousness”. Continue reading…

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Producing grapes the “natural” way: the year 2015 at La Maliosa

The grape harvest has just begun with the Ciliegiolo and summer has already been preserved in the form of thin, elongated, skinny, very healthy clusters. Even the thick juice struggles to leave the crusher for the fermentation vat. It’s strong in colour and intensely fruity.

il Ciliegiolo Continue reading…

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ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS AND CO2

What does Indaco2 stands for? How does it affect the manufacturer’s choices regarding the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions generated during the production process? We spoke with Elena and Riccardo from Indaco2 to find out. Continue reading…

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What is a wine artisan?

I’ve never been very good at writing, but I have definitely been well instructed by my teacher and thesis supervisor, Professor Carlo, who let me ‘build’ my thought process and the relative sentences with a mimicry of apparent agreement. Then, after a while, his face would become grim and, after pronouncing “but”, would begin an analysis and precise ‘reinterpretation’ of the text that, almost always, ended with an entirely new version. Every word weighed and then punctuated… and so I grew and, alongside the scientific values, learnt how to better wield my pen.

I continued this exercise for almost four decades in the field of scientific research and have improved in the more appropriate use of my vocabulary, but never enough.

Since entering the world of wine, particularly that which pertains to certain identifications (organic, biodynamic, natural, artisanal), I have always been quite confused and sometimes even perplexed by the distance between these declarations and the reality. I have often thought these terms were used more to “blow one’s own horn” than as a real description of the facts. It is certainly not my intent to enter into this cute and quirky company that I have always listened to willingly. I would rather, pushed on by my past, divulge the true meaning of the terms used to identify us. In the field of farming and applied biology, I think it’s always important and necessary to speak the truth and fully explain the why behind our decisions.

For example, Maliosa has a set vineyard size of about eight hectares and this logically makes it a real wine artisan. Continue reading…

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