Viticulture and permaculture

While modern agriculture hinges on the idea that nature has to be tamed and forced, our vision focuses on the principle of cooperation with the natural environment. We also believe that, as it relates to complex ecosystems and natural cycles, agriculture must be regarded as a constantly evolving practice.

In the principles of permaculture and in the concept developed by Masanobu Fukoka in his book The One-Straw Revolution, we find several analogies with our own way of thinking, which, along with our oenological experience, has matured over the decades.

Every living being, animal or plant, has its own place and role within the ecosystem. When we talk about biodiversity, we mean just that: a delicate balance of “natural forces”.

The principle behind Fukoka’s “do-nothing” agriculture is very close to our idea of viticulture: a non-invasive practice in which human intervention in natural processes is kept to a minimum. This is why, wherever possible, we have preserved woodland, promoting perennial grassing in the vineyards: a triumph of life, of diversity and of natural wealth.

The importance of grassing - Stories - ROAGNA

Counteracting the effects of climate change

Until 2001, we used to mow the grass in our vineyards once a year. Since then, partly due to changing weather cycles, we have opted for total grassing: we want the vineyard to be a garden full of diversity.

An example? Numerous varieties of wild mint grow in the Pira vineyard, along with flowers, mushrooms, herbs and small shrubs. The soil teems with life: insects, butterflies, birds, earthworms and small animals coexist in perfect harmony.

The trampled grass creates a natural mulch, which is very important for keeping the soil cool and slowing down evaporation. In this way, we prevent the vines from exposure to stressful conditions: on the contrary, thanks to the richness and vitality of the soil, the roots are able to penetrate deep down and extract valuable elements from the subsoil.

Every product of the soil is a valuable resource. Pruning shoots, for example, are spread out between the rows, naturally decomposing over a couple of years and enriching the soil with organic substances.

The vineyard is a balanced habitat that requires no external replenishment. This means no fertilisers or manure, which would interfere with the organic processes. Instead, we respect the physiological capacity of the earth to adapt to even very different environmental conditions.

A nest in the Pira vineyard – Castiglione Falletto