Andrea industrialized the estate for production, building part of the cellar that is still used and still houses giant heirloom barrels. They are true functional antiques. It wasn’t until a few years, after Francesco’s father, Luigi, took over the estate in 1964 that the first wines we’re bottled for the estate, rather than sold to wholesale brokers. Luigi was a one man business. To get the wine to thirsty fans, he began shipping demijohns directly to customers around Turin. After growing the grapes, making and bottling the wine, he’d pack the truck and deliver them himself door-to-door.
On top of all that work, Luigi transitioned the estate’s farming practices to biodynamics during this time. The transition was spurred by a dissatisfaction with the adverse consequences of chemical agriculture. The farm, like all it’s neighbors, had initially embraced these chemicals, because they made the farm work much easier. These advances made applications of fertilizers, and anti-mold/pest shields simpler and less frequent.
However, soon the downsides became apparent:
“Workers complained that their arms and legs were swelling, so the doctor of San Giorgio Monferrato called my father and told him that if he was going to use these products, he would not be able to send his workers into the vineyard for 4-5 days following treatment. The doctor was tired of repeating this to everyone. Like my father, 80% of farmers in the region had begun to use these products. Then my father stopped to think… and then decided to go back to the old way.”
Seeking a safer way, they discovered biodynamics, abandoned chemical agriculture and never looked back. Francesco has evolved and strengthened this family tradition, by maintaining his historic cellar, and farming in a way that exemplifies and even exceeds the standards set by Demeter for biodynamics.