At Pieve de’ Pitti, sustainability is not just a trend.
I was an architect, specializing in sustainable architecture, before becoming an organic winemaker.
My PhD thesis on “Sustainability in winery design” perfectly describes how I did my best to combine these two great passions and where the style and the taste of Pieve de’ Pitti wines come from.
There are several sustainable strategies that have been adopted by Pieve de’ Pitti, not only in vine growing and winemaking.
The following is a very simple list of what we do every day: in the vineyards, in the cellar, inside and outside the winery buildings
ENERGY AND RESOURCE SAVINGS
We use no fossil fuels for heating or hot water. We use only biomass: wood and scraps from pruning vines and olive trees; even olive pits are used as fuel
We practice monthly monitoring of fuel consumption for tractors in order to regulate their hour/hectare usage rate
Groundwater and rainwater are collected and used in the cellar and for sanitation
Waste collection and recycling strategies are adopted in the office and in the farmhouse. Guests are asked to respect the rules and to separate domestic waste
Calls for energy and water saving are hung in the common area, in the B&B rooms, and in the farmhouse apartments
All of our products (wine, olive oil) are certified organic
No chemical pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers are used in the vineyards of olive groves. Manuring is based on animal or green manure only. Lees and pomaces are collected to produce compost that is then recycled as fertilizer in our vineyards
All activities are done by hand.
Wine: we prefer natural yeasts for starting all fermentation processes. Sometimes it happens that the first volume of must doesn’t ferment in the proper way, in which case commercial yeast is used to save the vintage production. No cleaning or clarifying agents are used. No extra tannins are added. All daily pumping over is done manually, splashing must over the cap. Racking is also done by hand in small bins, to be spilled into the press. Sulfites are added when necessary, but total sulfite content is generally maintained far below organic limits. Wines contain around 30-50 gr/lt
CELLAR DESIGN and MANAGEMENT
The cellar climate is naturally regulated by the underground tuff tunnel that brings humidity and cold air during the summertime so that air conditioning is not needed
Our red wines are fermented in concrete tanks: during the day, the mass of concrete walls absorbs the heat produced by grapes during the fermentation due to its thermal capacity and releases it back to the cellar space during the night, when walls are licked by cold air arriving from the tunnel. This is a passive strategy to control the fermentation temperature so that refrigerating the tanks is not needed
Water for washing and cleaning wine tanks is stored and, when possible, reused to clean floors
No energy is consumed to chill the white wine must before the fermentation: grapes are harvested very early in the morning and delivered to the cellar immediately. When necessary, dry ice is used instead
The basement cellar has cross windows that favor natural ventilation and face north, so that the south face is totally underground and the main façade is never sunlit. Climate control in the indoor area of the cellar doesn’t require any energy-consuming appliance
Since 2020, we have selected the lightest glass bottles to bottle our wines. We make no compromise to market trends. Light glass means less energy used to produce each bottle and, moreover, less fuel necessary to deliver wines to your home door
Pieve de’ Pitti still uses natural corks for our traditional white and red wines, but we have also recently introduced 100% biomass and 100% recyclable cork (from sugar cane)
Starting in 2022, our new cardboard boxes don’t require the use of any adhesive tape, and the boxes are stored and packed on wooden pallets covered with 100% recycled extendable film
All the wines’ technical cards have been made available for download on the website so as to reduce the paper needed for printing
On each of our labels, instructions for the correct disposal of the packaging is clearly indicated. Remember to check the specific provisions of your municipality for the correct management of waste collection