our ORGANIC HERITAGE
Simply put, organics are better for us & our environment. Food forms the building blocks of our bodies & our health, soil is the basis for healthy food. Robust soil grows quality food, quality food means better health & wellness. Organics are not a passing fad; it is a path to a healthful, more sustainable life. People do not need to give up good taste to eat healthy, both can thrive together.
THE VILLA GRAZIELLA
POINT OF DIFFERENCE
Our wines & olive oil reflect the authentic traditions of certified organic agriculture. Located in Montespertoli, 15 miles west of Florence, in the heart of Tuscany, the working farm is an ecosystem of jewel & an excellent example of Mother Nature’s innate biodiversity of checks & balances.
Certified organic farmer & 11th generation wine maker, Luca Nesi cultivates the single estate vineyard & olive grove, without adding any fruit from 3rd party co-packers. No genetically modified organisms, chemical fertilizers or synthetic insecticides are used. Instead, they are replaced by dry farming with organic composts of beet root, broad bean, clover, horse radish, mustard seed, rye grass, sweet pea and natural fertilizers (cow pies & sheep dung). Vines & trees are treated with sulfur & copper in measured quantities per organic protocol.
healthy soil produces healthy fruit
We get asked “what makes our wines organic?” It starts with the soil.
Since 1997, our vineyard is free of chemical fertilizers, synthetic insecticides or herbicides. It was organic certified after 16 consecutive seasons (4 years) with soil testing & verification before permission to plant any grapes.
In early spring, beet root, broad bean, clover, horse radish, lentil, mustard, rye grass & sweet pea seedlings are planted in between the rows of the vines. Mineral & nutrient rich, the cover crops grow between the vine rows to fortify & regulate the soil.
As they grow, they attract beneficial animals, birds & spiders, the crops provide food & shelter to these animals & insects who in turn feed off of predatory animals, insects & mites. These species replace the need for chemical insecticides or synthetic pesticides.
In the fall the cover crops are cleared before harvest. They are dried out & used as compost with cow & sheep manure. Each vine or canopy is pruned individually. We also do dry framing, with irrigation only via rainfall.
A robust eco-system it produces healthy fruit, without leaving chemical or synthetic residue in the soil. Even though it is labor intensive, the bio-diversity contributes to the vineyard’s long-term sustainability & the environment’s well-being.
ICEA & MIPAAF CERTIFIED
In Italy, standards for certified organic food & wine products are regulated by ICEA-The Environmental and Ethical Certification Institute. The ICEA logo is a guarantee for all organic products. ICEA accreditation “from farm to fork” certification, requires the traceability of raw materials and the finished product to assure product’s quality & consumer protection. ICEA organic wine certification requires extremely low sulphite limits; wines certified by ICEA are produced in cellars with a minimum threshold environmental impact.
We submit to yearly ICEA and Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Forestry (MIPAAF), auditing inspections to ensure each of our practices meet the Italian National Organic Program standards. Tests and certifications are conducted each year, during the growing season, at pre and post production as well as bottling to guarantee organic quality. Both entities for food and wine certification, are compliant with European Union (EU) regulations and requirements as well as with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards.