As the momentum of the London Wine Fair gathers pace, we are supported on our stand by even more winemakers this year, each one more eager than ever to tell their story. And yes, we know a thing or two about the winemaking attributes we’re highlighting but it would be misleading to claim we knew as much as the winemakers themselves. Which is why we’re very proud to welcome to our stand the expertise of organic viticultural specialist and winemaker Daniele Innocenti from Fattoria Viticcio in Tuscany and wine innovator and organic and natural wine expert Roberto Ijalba from Bodegas Santalba, Rioja.
Daniele Innocenti has been making wine since 2001 but his winemaking home has been at Viticcio since 2005. Here he practices sustainable land stewardship through organic and biodynamic viticulture. For him wine is made in the vineyard and it is here where high quality begins. He believes that only by respecting and safeguarding the environment can we be sure to leave healthy and fertile land for future generations.
As such the Viticcio vineyards have always been cultivated using organic techniques and natural treatments and all wines will bear the organic certification stamp by vintage 2017. Furthermore, since 2003, eight hectares of vineyards have been tendered using biodynamic methods.
This respectful philosophy, driven by Daniele, is black and white “Reaching harvest time with perfectly healthy grapes is not only a "mission" it is my passion” he says “grapes are a product of nature, respecting it is fundamental.”
Roberto Ijalba and his father are well known for their maverick winemaking in Rioja, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is the accepted norm in such a traditional region. While their quirkiness may get them attention, ethical practises lie equally at the heart of what they do. Bodegas Santalba have been certified organic since 1998 and were the second winery in Rioja to achieve this. It isn’t a trend for them, explains Roberto, but an attitude. “Starting to work organically all those years ago was not driven by consumer conscience but rather our consideration for and guardianship of the environment. To respect the plants and the soil is the most important job that we have, they are the most important thing in the whole process. We are privileged to dedicate our lives to producing good wines in Rioja and it is our responsibility to sustain the future of that privilege.”