B.Wine discovers Organic Wines

The first B.wine meeting in 2023 wears innovative, sustainable, and fresh clothes: indeed, it was about organic wines.

The event took place on Wednesday, February 15th right in the city center, at MAG la Pusterla Cafe restaurant. During the evening, thanks to the kind participation of our sponsors, Podere Sabbioni, Cascinotta di Rizzolo and Il cipresso Winery, we had the opportunity to taste three wines produced according to organic philosophy.

What’s an Organic Wine?

This kind of production does not allow the use of synthetic agents in the vineyards, that is, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

A wine, to be defined as organic, must follow the indications and production limitations set by European regulations; as a certified product, organic wine is subject to numerous and rigorous controls. As for the vineyard, a transition period of at least 3 years is required in order to convert it from conventional to organic farming. Organic wine production aims to preserve the natural fertility of the soil while fully respecting local species, both plant and animal, with special regard for the balance of the ecosystem. In fact, organic fertilizers, or those of natural origin (such as copper or sulfur) or living organisms capable of defeating pests (such as ladybugs, for example) are used to defend plants from pests. In addition, crop rotation is required, i.e., growing different products on the same soil to promote its fertility, and planting plant species that are resistant to different types of pests so that plants can protect each other. Winemaking techniques are also regulated: organic wine producers are allowed to use about half of the adjuvants allowed in conventional production, with various limitations about the use of added sulfites and sulfur dioxide. Only yeasts naturally occurring on the grapes are allowed. Organic wine is a healthy and genuine product, containing substances that are useful for the human body, such as resveratrol, the substance that protects the cardiovascular system, and is synonymous with oenological commitment and quality.

Our first wine: Cascinotta di Rizzolo

The first wine was presented by the owner of the winery itself, Cascinotta di Rizzolo. Giuseppe, with his incredible passion, guided us on a journey through the history of his winery: his winery is located in Rizzolo, in the municipality of San Giorgio, in the Nure Valley, Piacenza province. Already known in the 1800s for being among the first local vanguards in the wine industry, since 1998 this winery has been producing wines from organically certified vineyards. The producer carries on the winery and its philosophy looking not only at the organic  production, but also at pursuing tradition with native and historic, now almost forgotten, grape varieties such as Crova, Mostarino, Aleatico, and Stciucaera. The winery makes about 5,000 bottles a year, with three labels, including one white and two red wines.

However, the history of every winery must be assessed in the glass – and Giuseppe knows it: he tried with us his Cascinotta Bianco 2021. Its golden shades prepared our guests to the high complexity of this wine, both in scents (citrus, hay, ripe yellow fruit and, as much as the bouquet opened, even petrol notes) and in taste: the roundness, yet freshness of this wine would make a good pairing with hard cheese or oily fish.

From Emilia Romagna to Marche

After enjoying the first wine, the stage was conquered by Podere Sabbioni, a winery placed in Marche (the center of Italy). The wine we tried was a Colli Maceratesi DOC Ribona, which is covered by the Colli Maceratesi DOC designation, one of the DOCs of the region. It is characterized by the ampelographic composition, i.e, the grape varieties for the production, the winemaking procedures and the specific organoleptic characteristics of the wine. The grape varieties in the Colli Maceratesi DOC Ribona produced by Podere Sabbioni are Maceratino (Ribona) 90% and a small percentage  (10%) of Chardonnay. The wine ages for at least 6 months in steel tanks so as not to change the organoleptic characteristics of the grapes.

The result is an incredibly fresh wine, as anticipated by its greenish shades in color. Mineral notes, altogether with a good acidity are well balanced by the honey, citrus and floral scents. Great choice for aperitivo or grilled poultry, it is also a good choice for the planet. As a matter of fact, the winery has joined the V.I.V.A.-Program of the Ministry of the Environment, which through four indicators of environmental sustainability, Air, Water, Vineyard, Territory, allows for transparent information on the impact of our viticulture on the environment. As custodians of the land, we identify ourselves in a path of management and protection of the rural environment and agrarian landscape, associated with product safety and consumer health.

Back to Lombardy

The third and last wine was produced by Il Cipresso winery, just a few kilometers from the city of Bergamo. It is a family-run business and since 2003, when the farm was founded, the producers have been enthusiastically investing in improving and expanding the vineyards (from 4 to 7.5 hectares). Moreover, the new winery, designed and built with the most advanced criteria, has enabled outstanding qualitative results in the small winemaking reality of Scanzo. The wine tasted “Faustino” is a white wine made from Incrocio Manzoni grapes, an indigenous variety born from the union of Riesling Renano and Pinot Bianco. Faustino enchanted our guests in the last part of the evening with its elegance and fresh, mineral hints. Vinified and aged in steel tanks, it presents amazing persistence and intenseness in its peach, exotic fruit, and honey notes. Such features would make it a perfect pairing with white meat or seafood.

Still curious?

Besides the great wines we enjoyed over the evening, our guests were really impressed in finding the vibrant and dynamic world of organic wines in Italy. Some foreigner students admitted to our wine expert that they would have not expected such innovative mindset and sensibility towards sustainability in a country, like Italy, which is notoriously very jealous of its roots and traditions. This might actually be one of the reasons of success of Italian wines…over the years Italian wineries have proved to be able to reconcile tradition and innovation.

Such a trend might be spotted not only in producing, but also in marketing wines. In this regard, another vibrant reality is Winelivery, the major delivery platform for wines. As a matter of fact, they have been paying more and more attention to sustainability, even in choosing the products to offer, thus allowing consumers to experience comfortably organic wines. Our wine experts would recommend “Toscana Rosso IGT Insieme Bio 2020” from Inserrata Organic Wines; after a selection of white wines, a red one was due; and this wine, with its intense red fruits aromas, is perfect for the role (and red meat!). However, if you are interested in finding more about how the wine production is adapting itself to the new challenges of sustainability, visit the Winelivery Blog, as well as our sponsors’ websites…and remember: learning is more enjoyable if you do it with a good glass of (organic) wine! And this might be true also for the upcoming exams! 😊

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B.Glad, B.You, B.wine!



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