Pacina

Pacina is an old monastery that dates back to 900 A.D., and has more history and energy in the air then I’ve ever experienced in all of my travels. Giovanna has taken over the estate that her great grandparents bought, and she and Stefano dedicate all of their time and energy into preserving the place, Pacina, and the sangiovese that they love.

Pacina is a convent of 900 before 1000 , a long history behind it, around vineyards, olive groves , fields and forests , and even beyond the Crete Senesi.

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Philosophies, Ideas & Practices

This estate can be thought of as the ‘godfather’ of organic farming in Tuscany. The estate is currently run and cared for by Giovanna Tiezzi and her husband Stefano. Stefano and Giovanna lead the pack and have been farming and working naturally and organically for generations.

Winemaking

There is absolutely no technology involved in the winemaking, and in fact the cellar has not been touched or altered for generations. The changes have come in the vineyards, where Stefano has replanted and planted vineyards using clones and cuttings from THEIR vineyards grafted onto the rootstock at the nursery, keeping the vines resistant to sickness and more prolific. This is PURE Sangiovese and Chianti they way it should be. Right on the border of Chianti Classico, they are in Chianti Colli Senesi in the village of Castelnuovo Berardenga.

History

Pacina is a convent of 900 before 1000 , a long history behind it, around vineyards, olive groves , fields and forests , and even beyond the Crete Senesi. A small intense place that has met by chance, by necessity, by historical events the richness of tradition obtaining more information. A small place where the differences in some way have been met and maintained, varied habitat differences , both in the presence of the forest and of various types of crops (vineyards, olive groves , arable land ), and in the alternation of work and rest the earth, so that ecosystems of plants and animals were able to maintain their wealth and their interrelationships.

The family of Joan bought Pacina after the First World War and at a distance of four generations we can say that his was a happy choice : we are in a particularly good place for the cultivation of grapes for wine . We are aware of this and we recognize the importance and fortune . We like to remember this that the name is probably derived from the Etruscan Pacina Pacha or Pachna , the Etruscan equivalent of Bacchus : we are definitely not far from the truth .

So the real wedding of Joanna, the heiress of this beautiful story and Stephen, a citizen who sought and found in studies of agronomy and practice of the wineries a new story , he joined the pride and the ' affection for belonging to a place so rich with curiosity and surprise to discover that there is a way of being winemakers outside the box globalization , strong experience handed down over time confirmed dale modern knowledge . The most recent events tell us that in 1924 some producers of Chianti decided to move to defend the name and the quality of their wine : in fact any wine produced in Tuscany ( and perhaps others) according to the recipe Ricasoli was called " Chianti" . The historic meeting took place May 14, 1924 in Radda in Chianti , the 33 participating manufacturers founded on that day the "Association for the Defence of Chianti wine and its brand " which later becomes Chianti Clasico " Gallo Nero " .
Among these producers there was Count Chigi , practically owner of almost all the land in the vicinity of the town of Castelnuovo Berardenga south course of the river called La Malena , precisely where he was also the property of Pacina .

Thus in drawing the border of the territory of the newborn consortium was chosen course of La Malena as natural geographic term to the south and Pacina remained outside the Chianti Classico to arrive later in another DOCG : Chianti Colli Senesi. In fact, the mountain system of the Chianti hills ends a little farther , roughly where time passes the A1 motorway Siena -Bettolle , well that delimits the two regions : Chianti and the Crete Senesi. However, the southern foothills of the mountains of Chianti characteristics geo- pedological diifferenti from those of the highest parts of the north. Basically the geological history tells us that between 10 and 5 million years ago in the mountains of Chianti represented the land surrounded by prehistoric seas . The southern slopes of the mountains where Pacina is located at an elevation of about 300 m. s.l.m. more times were subject to flooding and the water receded, thus generating a series of sedimentary deposits of alternating fractions of more or less sandy soil ( beaches) , with the presence of pebbles, generated by the erosive action of the waves near the cliffs Chianti . These deposits rest on a layer of clay , formed when the waters were deeper , finally prevailing to the south , in the area of the Crete Senesi. Many other manufacturers that are part of the Chianti Classico (eg San Giusto a Rentennano ) have their own vineyards in this area We can say that Pacina is then definitely in the geographic area of the Chianti Mountains but for historical reasons only not part of the "administrative" that defines the wine production in this " geographical area " . Our area however, like most other located near the slopes of the mountains , is one of those where the winemaking tradition supports its roots in the distant past . The soil is easy to work with, but not too fertile , where the roots have a chance to explore in depth the soil until it reaches the impermeable layers of clay to look for water , combined with the giagitura land lines facing south and protected from cold the north by the mountain system Chiantigiano , have meant that thousands of years man has found the ideal environment in these places to reside and cultivate what is necessary to support themselves . And today we have the chance to find the confirmation of traditional practices in knowledge derived from studies agronomical and oenological . The concept of an environment naturally healthy and balanced is the basis of our work. If we recognize the vine status of a living organism whose natural purpose is to reproduce to form new fruit , we are already doing an important step to better understand what to do.

Human intervention should be directed mainly to include the cultivation of the vine fruit in an environment naturally suited to express the best characteristics in terms of the plant's natural ability to grow , developing resistance to adverse weather conditions and with the pathogenic ' goal of achieving a quality wine . This is the real challenge of the grower of organic farming and organic / sustainable in general: finding a new balance between the natural inclination of the plant and its needs winemaker and on this basis, over the centuries , has formed the agronomic knowledge . And ' only towards the middle of the last century which was expected to be able to dominate the field , acting as if you maneggiasse an artificial element modeling at will, in a place completely irrelevant to the final result. Obviously we are an extreme but this is the attitude that has prevailed in the long run modern viticulture industry , which is now called conventional . The agricultural crisis in Italy in the postwar period is derived mostly from the economic and social system of corporate management not to agronomic problems . The sharecropper was able to maximize the productivity of the farm , because it stemmed from the support of his family : his thought as he addressed the annual production as to whether to repeat over time that result. Consequently, optimizing the use of the means of production , primarily the fundamental ground. It was unthinkable to be able to affect production decisions with seemingly affordable in the short -term health of the farm. At the side of a main culture coexisted several other productions also needed to produce staple foods for the family. This leads us to take note of two important differences between the agricultural system and what is happening today. First, there was the monoculture , biodiversity was at home .

Second, the term exploitation was not part of the vocabulary of the farmer, wisdom and common sense were the most appropriate words to describe the choices of the farmer . Fatoo of these are two of the basic principles of "sustainability " as it is understood today . It ' also interesting to note that just over twenty years , from the '60s to the '80s, industrial agriculture has shown no signs of its sustainability. The pressure exerted by the farmer chemical- industrial modern fast has undermined the agricultural ecosystem . The rapid changes in production decisions , the need to obtain high returns from crops , are just some of the issues that have increasingly moved away from the entrepreneur farmer pivotal role of " guardian of the territory" , which had gained over the centuries . Indeed, in many cases, has become the first actor of environmental degradation , like many of his colleagues in industrial applications. A Pacina fortunately this did not happen , the environment, agriculture , and soil, have maintained a valuable natural state of balance and fertility . It 'obvious that knowing the history of the company and whether , what and how it was cultivated in the past has helped us to recognize the agricultural vocation of the place and pass on some little secrets to keep . The plants themselves are always able to send signals : the observation of the phenological stages , the appearance of signs of deficiencies , the observation of the vineyard as a whole which highlights the inhomogeneities due to differences of the soil, the analysis of the production in its qualitative and quantitative components are of fundamental importance for understanding what needs to be done . The need to observe, to learn about the land and the plants and being with them is the easiest method we have available for mettre into practice properly the cultural practices of which the vineyard needs . In a situation naturally balancing act only when needed and at the right time to help the vine to produce grapes that is used for our wine . For us, eating is a vine plant that succeeds with his forces to resist the attacks of pathogens and to accomplish the task of fruit to reproduce. For us, a modern viticulture is one that recovers and puts it to good use in daily relationship with the vineyard with the knowledge, experience and wisdom of older farmers strengthened, developed and confirmed by modern scientific knowledge.

Process

After cultivating the vineyard with the principles described above is important and necessary to " finish the job " . The first step has been taken : the wine will not contain residues of drugs or metabolites derived from the use of synthetic pesticides . Numerous studies show that most of the wines from conventional viticulture containing these residues , although under the terms established by law . However, the natural product is in fact contaminated with one or more substances whose effect on the human organism is not known. And all this in a product that should , by stimulating our senses , give joy and pleasure : the contradiction is obvious . The commitment of the grower actually manifests itself to the public in the form of wine , that's when our work is judged . This is not working for respect of the law : the organic grower must be aware that he is acting for the health of your product and your company , thus giving an important contribution to a necessarily different and new way of life : the participation of our business more in the direction of sustainable development . The definition of sustainable development as development that " meets the needs of the present population without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs " , eprime of the principles on which the organic grower can be recognized , but it is more difficult to find the same motivations when entering the cellar. Just because the output of the cellar there is a market with its own laws of supply and demand, marketing, globalization and so on, the role of the farmer seems to lose importance.

E 'in the basement instead of the work of the vineyard can add value to the product in a unique and unrepeatable. Any bottle is now presented to the market as the "fruit of the patient work of the farmer who handed down the centuries of wisdom and experience ," even if it results from an industrial production of millions of pieces! It 's really disarming for the grower to be testimonial of a process completely foreign to him . Yet, even if the wine is the product of a natural transformation , most of the manufacturers have embraced the logic of some industrial process. The unknowns natural and uncertainties can be almost completely canceled by the wine technician and enochimica . Unfortunately , even more than in the vineyard , the intervention for the control of the natural process has led to the use of oenological knowledge ecceder formed over the years and the resulting resources made available . Anything is allowed in order to obtain a given product, even for a few hundred bottles. We add that if to guide this kind of choices is only the so-called global market , everyone will end up doing the same thing and this could be the end of the wine as well as normally understood . Yet , if it is true that the pleasure of tasting wine is not only the technique, which has rightly set of parameters and rules , but also emotion and culture, perhaps there is still room for another way of doing things. A Pacina we can say that we work as in the past, but also enriched ores case dale modern knowledge on the process of transforming grapes into wine. A Pacina , as in many other places, it is possible to obtain a wine "interesting" even without resorting to substances and technologies currently used in oenology . Historically, the cultivation of grapes for wine was limited in some areas such as suited ( and Pacina is certainly one of these , history teaches us ) and as part of this vocation was well aware of the quality of the product obtained and obtainable . It was in the vineyard that worked, to pick up a product that was transformed naturally in wine cellar In the cellar , the natural transformation was conducted and followed with the means at disposal, so reach its end in the best way, the quality was influenced from vintage but somehow it was still from a predetermined set of values ​​recognized and respected . We can recognize the logical extreme of this in the classification of cru in France. It 'obvious that this attitude today is lost even if the agronomic knowledge allow us to operate , even more than in the past, to obtain a grape suitable for a vinification of quality .

It is thought that instead of anywhere in the world and in any year we can produce a so-called " great wine " . But the means and the consequences for doing this certainly turn away from the principles of organic grower / sustainable . Moreover, the effect resulting from the vocation of the zones is typical : in the tasting technique is one of the typical valuation metrics. Maybe it should be the first to be taken into account. If we talk about a typical wine tasting should take a course, you can and should enrich the attentions different , related to the origin of the wine , the history of the place, name , grape variety , vintage year , the type of soil and so on. A Pacina is grown Sangiovese wines are the result of fermentation of Sangiovese and caratterisstiche wine are, and must be that of a wine made from Sangiovese ! We're not saying that you should only produce wines whose origin is from the past, some of the most important wines today are the result of recent insights producers and technicians who understand the potential of zones and vines still unexpressed even using modern knowledge . Even in these cases , if you are working in an honest way , we can speak of typicality. So let the word typicality the same sense of the term terroir. The soil , climate and grape variety under the wise guidance of winemaker give a unique fruit typical of the place but this makes no sense at all if we are not able to transfer this typical in the product that is consumed : wine. If you are unable to work in the cellar so that external inputs do not alter the natural process of transformation of the wine itself will bring some unique features , which are typical in fact. This , much more than in the vineyard , is a difficult and with so many unknowns and we can say that we are really lucky to Pacina because for us it is not a new road. The slow natural fermentation in cement tanks , maceration with the best grapes to extract the substances most noble , the slow aging in tank and timber on the lees to achieve a natural product stability, the use of a few grams of sulfur , racking careful not to strip too early wine from naturally occurring substances responsible for the processing and stabilization , understanding that the time required to process each time varies depending on the harvest and many other little things that come from the experience and modern knowledge analytical product are the cellar practices that allow us to achieve our goal . It ' a way of doing that has found its development and its most important event for us with the harvest 1987, when we produced the first vintage of Chianti Colli Senesi that still bottle it .

Until that time was done in Pacina a single wine from that year only the best grapes of the best vineyards were chosen to produce "our Chianti ." We are aware and proud of the characteristics of our product and we want to present to the market for what it is and its value as tenants would like to retrieve an important role in the social context , both the defense and the sound management of the territory, for the expression of a final product that , although he lost the importance of food that had at one time , remains the witness of history and richness of Pacina . At the moment our producers, being “traditionalist”, are in vogue. It is flattering to see the press and mass consumer body increasingly acclaim this list of producers as top of the league. However I have seen wine trends come and go, and the ratings are not what counts. Important is how these people work day in and day out, their sacrifices, how great their vineyards are, long-term focus on what’s best for the wines, and certainly the character of the person also plays a part in the equation. Whether because the wine is rude, dirty, over-priced, all of these human attributes lend their weight to the final product which is wine. Lately it is no longer enough for me that the wine is natural or extraordinary, the holistic picture of the winery that emerges must make sense. I am not a star chaser and I pride myself slightly narcissistically on having a pretty good nose for the next wine revelation. It’s really not that difficult. It’s a sum of parts that, if they come together, create magic. If any nascent wine producers happen to read these remarks, please don’t be put off. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it’s the overall methodology of trying to reach for the stars that separates the wheat from the chaff.

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