Two weeks of Podere Le Ripi with Sapori D’Italia
Podere Le Ripi is organic and biodynamic winery in Montalcino. Podere le Ripi started as a dream, and a very old one too: a dream to create something. This dream is also an aesthetic one: of creating something extremely beautiful.
The amazing team behind those wines
History -- it all started from a dream
“I immediately understood that this was my place. The place of my life.” Francesco Illy
A while ago, in 1984, I fell in love with Montalcino. I am a nature photographer and these landscapes – as our poet Ungaretti would say – “flooded me with the light of the immense” and simply stole my soul: I needed to have a house there.
So, in 1987 I began searching for my Tuscan “mansion” without even thinking about producing wine: I was a wine lover who thought he was too old to enter this world made of incredibly long waiting periods.
The estate was so uncontaminated. Unpopulated for thousands of years with a poor and dry soil that gives very poor crops, it reaches over 40°C in summer and has frozen lakes during winter, with 400-year-old olive trees, forests of incredibly many different trees and shrubs, and flowers -- flowers, flowers everywhere -- all year round. Not to mention wild asparagus, Porcini mushrooms, blackberries, the white and black truffles that only my friend Francesco’s dog was able to unearth, the wonderful red “corbezzolo” (arbutus), as well as wildlife, with rabbits and deer, boars and porcupines, wolves and yews, badgers and foxes, eagles from the Amiata Mountain and herons, buzzards, hawks, and the storks passing by the Orcia river twice a year, or all kinds of ducks that come into my lakes.
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All about the vineyards and winemaking
By respecting the beauty we found here.
Respect. First of all, our wines must be healthy. We believe that any chemical added to the soil will ultimately end up -- even if in tiny quantities -- inside our wines.
We have witnessed that science hasn’t been capable of detecting certain molecules that have been later considered dangerous for our health. Therefore, we decided to avoid any non-natural molecule in our vineyards: by doing so, we don’t run the risk of discovering later that something we had first considered as harmless was, in fact, harmful.
Organic and Biodynamic
Biodynamic farming is, by definition, a philosophy that allows a farm to become a living entity inscribed in the larger context of the whole universe. That’s why in Biodynamics a calendar of the planetary events is very important. The moon phases determine the days in which certain activities must be done, from bottling or planting to preparing and spraying the 500 and 501 mixtures and the herbal preparations.
At Podere Le Ripi we started with biodynamic farming in 2010. What is wonderful about Biodynamics is that the studies made with these techniques have developed procedures, like the 500 or 501 preparations and the use of specific insects or hormones, that allow us to control diseases and parasites, quickly ameliorating the health of soil and plants.
Years go by and now more than ever our planet needs to be saved. So here some small things that Podere le Ripi believes could make the difference!
- Biodynamic agriculture itself is one of the most respectful and natural ways to treat the soil and work with the land. Taking care of our compost, we think of the final product as perfectly in agreement with nature; such as removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
- Wine processes happen in a 100% ecological wine cellar, built to have zero impact on the environment;
- Reducing CO2 by optimizing transports and cars, walking or biking to work as much as possible;
- Separate collection for a better final recycling result, and avoiding waste of food by feeding our farm pigs;
- Life in plastic is NOT fantastic! Our team has decided to use eco-friendly water bottles instead of the single-use plastic ones;
- From 2020 all wine shipments will be 100% plastic free;
- Francesco and his brave project of planting trees in the Sarah Desert started in 2010.
Our vineyards are divided between two different sides of Montalcino: East and West. Each side of the hill holds completely different soil characteristics. That’s why we believed from the start in a research path that aims to offer wines that are pure, both in terms of vintage and geological area.
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