"to cultivate a territory does not mean exploiting it, but preserving its vitality."
The deep respect for the land and the vineyard drives the producers to always choose quality, with practices that become a guarantee of product excellence. The vineyard never undergoes forcing to implement its productivity; they respect its natural cycle even when it is tragically influenced by climate change. When selecting the timing, absolute rigor is maintained: the seasonality, the sudden rain and drought have to be taken into consideration. To do so, it is necessary to listen to the vineyard by touching the grapes, observing the appearance of the leaves, helping it thrive by sacrificing some branches, understanding what it needs. Techniques that respect nature are preferred: natural fertilization, grassing and green manure with nutritive essences, meticulous operations branch by branch, applying what we could call a true artisan philosophy. Manual work protects the integrity of the harvested grape, which is the fundamental for any subsequent work in the cellar.
To cultivate a territory does not mean exploiting it but preserving its vitality. This is why the Consorzio of Barbera d'Asti and Vini del Monferrato promotes projects for the sustainability of viticulture aiming at monitoring and evaluating the entire production chain, in order to identify and develop tools for a low-impact winery model, not only in terms of local practices but in a global, territorial and community production context. These measures are implemented in a series of concrete actions, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions along the life cycle of each product, the reduction of water consumption, the monitoring of soil fertility and residues of agro-pharmaceuticals , the management of the subsoil through the exclusive use of organic fertilization, the elimination of weeds, the reduction of treatments through precision farming systems; the reduction of soil erosion and compaction, the increase of biodiversity through the natural enrichment of the flora and the natural microorganisms of the soil for a better immune defence of the vine, the biological fight against harmful insects through pheromone dispensers. At the same time we are working towards the enhancement of the territory with the abandonment of cement in favour of steel or wood palisades, and the creation of vertical gardens on the production facilities that contribute to protecting the aesthetic horizon of a Unesco Heritage landscape.
Environmental indicators are not limited to the now "canonical" Impronta Idrica and Impronta Carbonica, but find an innovative aspect in the measurement of Biodiversity. The Consortium looks with interest at the new tools developed for the quality control of the wine production chain. The aim is to improve the certification process of organic and conventional wines and, at the same time, provide more information to the consumer, consolidating transparency and credibility, through the use of two new technologies: Augmented Reality (AR), Tank monitoring, sensor applied to improve the audit and winemaking, and Virtual Reality (VR), to improve the audit and to retain the consumer of certified wines. With these tools we want to overcome the era of paper files and manual measurements, providing producers of hi-tech instruments constantly connected to a Cloud archive and sensors located in the cellar, so as to immediately consult the files, have a precise mapping of the cellar and know all the information necessary to verify the traceability of the matches. With the virtual reality, moreover, it will be allowed to make guided visits in the cellars and monitor all types of tanks and barrels, remaining physically in the office with a considerable saving of time and money. And yet, new technological systems have been developed to improve the analysis of wine during winemaking and temperature control during transport. An innovation that, in the last case, involves a laboratory test able to determine the specific sensitivity to the high transport and storage temperatures for each batch of wine and a single use device, to be inserted in a carton at the time of shipment, able to continuously record the temperature and send the data to the sender independently without requiring any other intervention.
To obtain a high quality milk and therefore cheese there is only one method: to guarantee the wellbeing of the animals and a diet mainly based on local fodder and pastures, with a natural variety of herbs. In fact, if a milk comes from animals free to graze and eat a wide variety of herbs, you can talk about many types of milk not a unique one, as it changes the biodiversity in the animal's diet.
Within its associates, Assopiemonte promotes the improvement of the management of the stable. Well-being is a broad concept that is not limited only to the health and physical condition of animals, but also includes their psychological well-being and the ability to express natural behaviours, as this translates into better quality, greater healthiness and safety of the milk produced.
The parameters included in the Protocol that regulates these standards include: the density of the garments, the space in the manger, the number and type of drinking troughs, the availability of an exercise area, an infirmary and so on.
To prefer a low impact system means to protect the product and the typicality of the environment that produces it. Thanks to the participation in Rural Development Projects (RDP), the Piedmontese cheese chain boasts renewable energy production and water purification systems that have drastically reduced the environmental impact of the entire supply chain. The actions undertaken since 2014 do not just want to reduce CO2 emissions but protect soil and biodiversity, reducing the use of plant protection products, enhancing the biological and crop rotations.