The impressive landscape of the Northern Italian province Treviso in the Veneto region is characterized by a beautiful and lush nature with vineyards, centuries old forests, olive groves and gentle hills, green valleys and wetlands.
Here are the vineyards of the Cantina Pizzolato, in an area between the river Piave and the mighty Dolomites. The river shaped this fertile landscape over millenia - from the Dolomites it transported mineral-rich rocks into the plain. The soil here is clayey and mineral-rich, rocks and boulders accentuate the landscape.
Wine is cultivated on the family estate already in the fifth generation. In 1981, Settimo Pizzolato started to support his father in the wine growing business. In addition to wine, they also grew fruits: apples, pears, kiwi, peaches and strawberries.
But Settimo had his own ideas - turning away from agrochemistry and going towards nature and an integrated organic crop management. He intended to follow his grandfather's footsteps, who had already worked the land and preserved its fertility wanting to re-establish the primordial connection between man and nature.
Settimo Pizzolato was one of the first Italian winegrowers who converted to organic agriculture. While the Pizzolatos got rather skeptical and critical feedback in the beginning, they received more and more support for their way over time.
The two organic pioneers Settimo Pizzolato and Joseph Wilhelm met each other early in their careers. Pizzolato has been supplying Rapunzel with sparkling Prosecco and with selected wines since 1997. Prosecco is the most popular product in the Rapunzel Vinothek.
Today, the vineyard includes 72 hectares. This way, an extensive eco-region with rich biodiversity developed. The organic winegrowers are convinced: grapes can only grow and prosper in a clean environment. The resulting wine will have a well-balanced flavor that mirrors the character of the region.
Organic viticulture is nature-friendly. Soil management, fertilization and crop management follow strict organic principles. Economic efficiency is not in the first place but the focus lies clearly on organic aspects.
The most important foundation is the soil. Organic fertilizer such as compost increase soil fertiliy. Organic winegrowers also attempt to maintain a diverse ecosystem in the vineyards. Therefore, they do not use any herbicides that are harmful to beneficial insects.
A diverse flora and fauna has the big advantage that most harmful pests will not occur in the first place. This is the best natural crop protection. Other companion plants are grown in between the vines. These plants attract beneficial insects and strengthen the soil at the same time. Powdery and downy mildew may be treated by the organic winegrowers with copper and sulphur.
Organic winemaking is understood as an integrated approach - not only with respect to the cultivation and the pressing of the grapes. Other important aspects for Pizzolato are topics like waste prevention, the reduction of water consumption and renewable electric power. Since 1997, the entire wine-growing estate is supplied via 100 percent self-produced photovoltaic power. Because for the family business, organic winemaking is not just making a product but an overall approach to life that is entirely committed to nature.
The Veneto region is one of the most important wine-growing areas and is also the home of Prosecco. The grapes for this popular sparkling wine may only be grown in selected regions in northeast Italy like in the Treviso region. Prosecco must also be produced and bottled in these regions.