The revolution starts with the earth

Our health, the health of the soil and that of our planet are all connected.
Healthy soil is the first step to a stable climate and to healthier living conditions, for everyone. Lowering our gaze, rethinking our relationship with the earth and the very concept of agriculture, is the key to responding to contemporary urgencies related to climate change.

Reinventing a cooperative relationship with nature is the first step towards attempting to reverse the dramatic phenomena of erosion and desertification underway.

The key lies in carbon, an element that is crucial to life on earth.

Think of photosynthesis: the classic narrative emphasises the ability of plants to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide. But an equally important aspect of this process is often overlooked: plants are able to store about 40% of carbon in their roots. This is slowly released to the micro-organisms of the soil, which exchange mineral nutrients with the plants. The presence of these “reserves” of carbon in the soil is closely linked to the vitality of the soil and the plants and animals that inhabit it.

The advent of conventional agriculture is responsible for the process of soil degradation and impoverishment that we are currently witnessing. Massive use of pesticides and mechanical equipment that “stress” the soil deprives it of those micro-organisms needed to absorb and retain carbon. Damaged soil releases carbon dioxide and water, which return to the atmosphere, setting the scene for the process of desertification.

This has immediate effects on the microclimate: bare (desertified) soil has a lower temperature regulation capacity. This phenomenon, if extended on a global scale, results in the modification of the macroclimate, which we are witnessing today.

We are trapped in a vicious circle: the use of chemicals only masks the degeneration of the soil, which has now reached a situation of chronic stress. “Spoilt” soil requires increasingly intense and frequent care. The roots of the plants, which are short and weak, having been made lazy by external supplements (fertilisers and manure) become more and more vulnerable to climate fluctuations, as they are unable to penetrate deep into the soil to absorb the nutrients they need.

Regenerative agriculture - Stories - ROAGNA

Quality viticulture is poor agriculture

For years, we have been convinced that the soil must be a balanced, self-sustaining habitat. This means limiting outside intervention as much as possible and letting nature take care of itself by adapting to sometimes very different environmental conditions.

The earth contains within itself everything it needs. The winegrower’s task is to preserve this intrinsic potential without interfering with natural cycles.

We have not tilled or mowed the soil in our vineyards for over 20 years. A soil covered with living plants is a soil that breathes and is therefore able to maintain a more stable temperature, “trap” the carbon in the soil and nourish itself.

Regenerative agriculture is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal to defend this delicate balance. This is why we have been promoting the perennial grassing of our vineyards for some time, leaving room for biodiversity. This creates a natural mulch on the soil, capable of regulating the temperature and slowing down evaporation, locking carbon into the soil. The coexistence of different plant species also guarantees a soil rich in micronutrients, which are essential for imparting a distinctive character to our wines. Each variety, in its final decomposition cycle, replenishes the soil in a different way every time, creating a varied substrate for the living conditions of the plant.

This is just one of the many regenerative actions we can take. Equally important is the minimisation of mechanical disturbance, the elimination of fertilisers and the encouragement of co-cropping and free grazing wherever possible.

As winegrowers and inhabitants of a unique landscape, we feel a responsibility to preserve this heritage and pass it on to future generations.