Perhaps I mentioned before that when Chiara and I go shopping we usually buy organic products.
When we were setting up Tunia it was, hence, a natural choice to opt for environmentally friendly farming.
From the start we farmed Tunia with organic methods and tried to minimise the environmental impact of our work. Our business cards are made from FSC paper, the ties for the vines are cellulose and we are part of a project to recycle corks.
This has led very recently to collaboration between Tunia and Ruggero Mazzilli of SPEVIS – Stazione Sperimentale per la Viticoltura Sostenibile (Experimental Institute for Sustainable Viticulture).
Up until now we have only used products based on copper and sulphur, but even these two elements have side effects.
Copper has a great environmental impact: as a heavy metal it accumulates in the ground thus leading to an overall decrease in the soil’s biological activity.
Sulphur, on the other hand, is toxic for all insects, including those that are useful in the vineyard, and can interfere with the fermentation of the must.
For all these reasons – and because many of the products used in organic farming contain synthetic additives (which seems a bit contradictory) – we decided to minimise treatments and, for those that can’t be avoided, to use the most environmentally friendly substances.
To do this however, you must create a healthier ” vineyard environment “, that is better able to respond to attacks by pests. It ‘s a bit like a person being run down or in good health when influenza is going round: if you’re already weak you’ll probably be in bed for several days, if you’re well overall you’ll probably get away with a cold or avoid it all together.
The staff of SPEVIS , that shares our ideas on greater awareness in agriculture linked to the use of less poisonous substances, will help us to make our vineyard “hardier”.