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Be Winemaker

I am Stefano and I am a winemaker.

I Work this and this is my land.
Someone calls me the engineer-winegrower, partly due to my education and partly bacause, I believe, I have a methodical approach to things. Engineer out of necessity and Winemaker for passion. I did not inherit this place but I came here on purpose, together with my family, for a precise change of life; or perhaps because, for some strange game of fate, this land wanted me to arrive here.

Looking for myself

I'm a Winemaker not just for the sake of making wine and I do not work the land just for growing vines. Instead, I became Winegrower looking for myself. Coming here has not been so easy. I had to cross the desert and I brought my family with me. I gave up the comforts of middle class life and I got dirty hands and broke my back. I got lost several times and I made many mistakes, but I've always found my way with stubbornness and humility. The values of sustainability, solidarity and hospitality drove me while crossing the desert, not in a nostalgic way, but as concrete social and ecological act.

When I came here in 2006, this land was sterile and the vineyards were dying. Decades of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, systemic treatments had destroyed everything, they had brought Azrael, the Angel of death: wild bushes had invaded large tracts of land and around the Ripa, at the edge of the great badlands overlooking Valdera, was undergoing a desertification process. Immediately we started convertion to organic farming but it was like trying to feed a terminal patient with steaks.
Just too much.
In fact in 2008 and in 2009 the "mal dell'esca" desease was exterminating the vines and we realized that we needed a radical change.
It was at that time that we discovered the Anthroposophy and the Biodynamic method. In that precise moment I realised that it wasn't a coincidence that we had arrived here, at the end of our journey through the desert. My name is Stefano and I am the Winemaker. Call me the engineer-winegrower because I'm not what I want to be, but I'm what I'm called to do.
Stefano Gonnelli



 

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