08 Jan Stories from our land – SQNPI
by Andrea Cavazza
The Land. That is where we started from, a plot of land purchased by my great-grandfather Giovanni in 1928 and which over the years, harvest after harvest, we have managed to turn into our life’s work.
I can still hear the voice of my grandfather Pietro, the son, together with Domenico, of Giovanni, who started our Vineyard Stories. Born in 1923, he belonged to the second-generation Cavazzas who became involved in winemaking. I still have a vivid memory of him. I see him sitting in his cream-colored Mercedes 240-D. His large, calloused hands, those of a man who tilled the land all his life, gripping the steering-wheel. Important chapters of his life were visible on his furrowed brow. True stories of wars fought on the field. Small, dark, keen eyes ̶ those of a man who had never lowered his guard during his lifetime ̶ gazing at the rows of vines. I can remember that when I was perhaps 5 or 6 years old, I would sit on the seat next to him, stretching my back and neck to see over the dashboard, and listen intently to what he said:
“Look, Andrea, look how red the soil is here at Tenuta Cicogna! Iron makes it this red! You know, it’s not easy to cultivate the land here in the Colli Berici because it’s full of rocks! That’s why we have to drive slowly. If by any chance we hit a rocky outcrop, we could puncture a tyre! Look… look how white that rock is … it’s limestone! Millions of years ago there was a tropical sea here! And the hills we are driving through were the seabed! There were fish, shells, coral reefs! That’s why red wine is so good here! However, this is not the only reason, my dear boy! To make good wine, we must look after our land! We must pamper, love and respect it!”
The words of granddad Pietro are still ringing in my ears and, echoing in my mind, they accompany me in the choices I make in my work, which are shared with the whole family. He passed on to me his tireless dedication to grape-growing and today this has become our winery’s philosophy, focused on environmental sustainability. The care, love and respect my grandfather talked about are reflected in a series of practices we have been adopting for years and which culminated in 2019 in being awarded the SQNPI (System National Quality Integrated Production) certification for sustainability in agriculture recognized by the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies, a project I have personally followed.
Among the many practices adopted to achieve sustainable agriculture, soil management is fundamental for the vineyard ecosystem. One of the techniques used by our family is extremely old and embraces the “zero-impact” concept: green manure cropping. Continuous tillage of the land in the vineyards has negative effects because the soil is “sterilized”. The bare plot, where vines were removed, must be regenerated, revitalized and nourished. It will then be ready to receive new life, fresh growth, a brand-new vineyard after resting for about 2/3 years with green manure cropping. This technique consists in sowing different herbaceous species that can regenerate the soil, producing a good amount of organic matter, which, if left in the soil, will be transformed into fertile humus. These grasses, whose roots help “till” the soil, also protect it from heavy rainfall and stimulate organic activity in it once they have decomposed.
Care, Love and Respect. Words that have been handed down from one generation to the next and from harvest to harvest for an environmentally-conscious management of our land.
Who am I?
I’m Andrea, the son of Francesco, the agronomist! Together with my cousins Stefano, Elisa and Mattia, I am continuing our family tradition, taking care of managing our company, focusing on the administrative management of our vineyards.
My biggest passion besides wine? My son Giulio and my Vespa which I love to ride around the Colli Berici, retracing the same trails that my grandfather Pietro used to drive along with his Mercedes 240-D!
Protecting the Landscape
Protecting the landscape and preserving its extraordinary beauty is our responsibility, just like creating a product of excellence like Cavazza wines. This responsibility is reflected in the management of our vineyards, guided by our personal manifesto of sustainable viticulture, with these precise cultivation characteristics.
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