The Organic at Montauto
At Tenuta Montauto we are extremely lucky.
There is nothing around us: only silence. The dense forests of the Maremma as far as the eye can see, the wind, the hares, the hawks. No factories, no towns, no neighbours, no roads except the provincial and very little traffic Campigliola.
Given that in nature, nothing is created and nothing is destroyed, the limits of organic farming make themselves apparent when we see certified organic farms forced to live – often side-by- side – with those who don’t follow the same ethical code. Others still are located near highly industrialised cities or roads with such a high traffic flow, that they raise doubts about the legitimacy of the term itself, which will end up, if we continue in this vein, inevitably discredited.
Whereas, we, at km 10 of the Campigliola, in a seemingly endless expanse of forest that dips its toes in the sea, enjoy an isolation that we don’t hesitate to define, in a word, as privileged.
An isolation that allows us to make choices without compromise, in total freedom and with an absoluteness that comes from being set apart, cut off, released from the world. Those who have been here will most certainly confirm that.
No constraints, in short, if not those that we have first and foremost placed upon ourselves.
In this sense, our behavioural decalogue starts from one foremost, inescapable rule: at Tenuta Montauto, we drink the wine we produce. That’s why the first form of respect we offer stems from the fact that we are not only the producers, but also the first consumers of our products.
In addition to isolation, we are also fortunate for the providential sea air that always blows from the west. It is a sea that cannot be seen, but one that can be felt in the wind blowing from Capalbio, which is just 10km away, as the crow flies. A providential wind, it is said, because it dries our vines, prevents humidity, keeps at bay the risk of diseases such as oidium or downy mildew, which we treat in a targeted way, only if necessary, and always in line with that which is the phytopharmacological tradition of present and past Italian viticulture: sulphur and, more sporadically, copper.
Obviously, we always try to limit the use of copper, which, being a heavy metal, can affect the health properties of the final product. That’s why, at Tenuta Montauto, we always wash our grapes before vinification and filter the wine so that the bottled product is healthy and wholesome, thus making goodness is a foregone conclusion.
We are also extremely strict in our use of sulphur. Cleaning the grapes in the cellar allows us, in this sense, to use it within the limits imposed by the organic certification and, in any case, where possible, even less.
Our wines are, in this sense, clean wines because they are the fruit of a wine-making praxis stemming from an “ecology of thought”, that is, an ethic that embraces the whole supply chain, from the land to the bottled product and that, also in terms of distribution, has a precise deontology.
At Tenuta Montauto we have always been like this, and we will always be like this because to us, “organic” is not a brand, nor a trend, but a lifestyle, an ethic that coincides with the certainty of acting in a completely coherent way first and foremost with ourselves. In fact, our wine is not only organic from an environmental standpoint, but also from a management one. We have married a policy of small steps to create a healthy company that in turn produces a matrix of healthy, wholesome and concrete wines.
This obviously involves choices that may seem counter-productive, such as not distributing to large retailers (GDO), which we will discuss in future articles.
All of this, for us, is contained in the term organic, which we follow even more deeply because we do so ethically and because we have applied it in all the stages of our history, of this world far from the world that is the micro-universe of Tenuta Montauto.
A note about Bio: a necessary postscript
Bio, today, is an abused concept.
Biological or organic are completely synonymous terms and indicate nothing but “relating to biology or living organisms”, as Oxford dictionary defines them.
The term organic has undergone a complete politicisation that has led it to broaden its connotations and, over time, come to orient itself towards the ethical axis of “good” and, by extension, defining everything that is “not biological” as being “not natural” or “not good”.
This type of opposition, however, is related to an eminently semantic world and rarely reflects the qualitative reality of the facts.
In agriculture, for example, although the term “organic” has been splendidly acclimatised from a commercial point of view and has become, for all intents and purposes, a trademark associated with one’s production disciplinary, it is a concept of quality that has been strongly questioned by this contemporaneity, to the point where there is no real correlation between the “organic” brand and quality itself.
As we said, “organic” has become, over time, a brand and, as such, is affected by the logic connected to its market. Even though most Italian and foreign consumers won’t hesitate to spend a few euros more on the “organic” brand, they find themselves increasingly disappointed.
After all, are we really so sure that this brand is still a quality guarantee?
Rather than just look for the “organic” label, we should, when judging the quality of a product, look at the personal ethics of the producer who is the sole guarantor, manager and depositary of such.
We should also consider the environmental factors, that is, the non-arbitrary, often casual, element that indirectly determines our ethics.
That is, the place where we were born and raised.
Here at Tenuta Montauto, we find ourselves in a place that is more than “organic”. It is Nature, pure and simple and very powerful. Come and see it with your own eyes.