Il Poggione: A True Farm

Il Poggione has always chosen to focus not only on the cultivation of the vines (even though winemaking is the core business), but to have diversified farming in order to develop biodiversity and to keep its origin as a farm (azienda agricola) as it was in 1890 when it was purchased by Lavinio Franceschi. On 590 hectares of land (approximately 1500 acres), only 130 hectares (approximately 300 acres) are planted with vineyards. The rest is planted with olive trees (12,000 olive trees), grains and woods. Furthermore, for the past few years, we have started to breed semi-free range livestock, such as Limousine cows, pigs and sheep. These animals eat mainly the produce from our farm. Furthermore, in most of our farmhouses where our workers live, we have poultry and vegetable gardens, where we can obtain fresh vegetables for most of the year The choice to have more than vineyards on our land has been made first out of respect for our territory: the vines are important but it is just as important to have diversity in the environment where we live and work in order to try to preserve it and, where possible, improve it for us and for future generations. Out of respect for the environment, Il Poggione also has solar panels, which allow us to operate the winery almost self-sufficiently, with minimal carbon footprint. Finally, for many years we have worked in an integrated farming regime, by using low impact chemicals in the vineyards and fertilizers that are also used in organic farming. We do all of this to pay the right attention to the environment and... Read more >

Emergency Irrigation

When we first decided to go down the path of emergency irrigation, we had a clear idea in mind that irrigation had to be used exclusively to improve the quality of grapes in very dry vintages, not to increase the quantity produced. We have verified that, if irrigated, the vines would present a brighter green color with wide open leaves and they would also have stronger defenses against insects, fungus and bacteria with a better capacity to resist against possible attacks. So it is important, in warm and dry vintages, such as this one, to use emergency irrigation to further improve the quality of the grapes produced. We are irrigating some of our vineyards... Read more >

Natural Protection Against Phylloxera

Phylloxera is an insect that destroyed the vineyards of the Old World at the end of the 1800s. This problem was solved by grafting the European Vitis Vinifera with American rootstock. Over the past years we have seen Phylloxera infecting the leaves of the vines starting to cause some damages to the quality of the grapes. You can see the front and back of an infected leaf in the photos.             We could have used, as many others do, chemical products to fight the pests, but we have undertaken a more natural direction using fertilizers stimulating the vines to produce their own defenses allowing the vines to stop and overtake the Phylloxera... Read more >

Fighting the Vine Moth without Insecticides

One of our aims is to reduce the use of antiparasitics and, particularly, insecticides. For several years now, we have tried to fight the vine moth, a grape pest in European vineyards, using only Bacillus Thuringiensis. Bacillus Thuringiensis is a sporogenous bacteria that is sprayed on the vines and, when ingested by the insect, releases toxins within its body. As you can imagine this is not an easy fight because the effect of the Bacillus is much milder than that of an insecticide and, as you can see in the photo, some larvae... Read more >

Fighting Mildew in the Vineyards

During this time of the year, the fungus disease that poses the biggest threat is mildew. To prevent it setting into the vineyards, we use a century old method, Sulphur powder. Its particularity is that it goes from powder to gas by sublimation, thanks to the temperature, and it reaches the spores even when they are nested within the grape... Read more >

Vineyard Update – Fertilizing the Vineyards

Fall is coming to Montalcino. Over the past few days we have continued to have sunny weather, though temperatures are starting to drop, as always happens this time of year, with lows around 40°F and highs around 60°F. This time of year, many wineries begin to fertilize their vineyards. We have always been very concerned with fertilizing our vineyards; we do not use any synthetic fertilizers, even nitrogen-based ones, but we do use pelleted manure to infuse the soil with organic substances. We also sow some leguminous plants, and specifically field beans, favino in Italian. As favino roots burrow into the soil and develop, they create sacs to store the nitrogen coming from the air. This way, the nitrogen comes directly from nature without the need for added fertilizer. To make high quality wines we do not need large quantities of grapes, which more intense fertilizer could create; on the contrary, we need only a small amount. This is why we do not want to use nitrogen-based fertilizers which, if applied in excess, could also pollute the... Read more >