The relationship with the environment has always been at the heart of the Montalcino winery’s philosophy: “to get the harvest right, you have to respect the balance of the land you are harvesting in”
In Montalcino, among the vineyards surrounding La Serena, the 2021 grape harvest is almost over. A magical and exhausting moment, in which the days begin early and end late: it is almost a sacred ritual that is repeated year after year, bringing with it traditions, enthusiasm, and even a little bit of restlessness.
But of course, this always happens when we are faced with beautiful things. Andrea Mantengoli, owner of the winery in Montalcino founded 90 years ago, welcomes us into his cellar built according to the principles of bio-architecture.
“For us, a good relationship with our surroundings is fundamental,” he explains. “We have pursued this objective by choosing to create a structure in harmony with the land, but we continue to do so every day, even there, among the vines, where everything begins.
Harvest 2021 at La Serena in Montalcino: prospects for an excellent vintage
So what will the 2021 harvest be like for La Serena and what kind of year does it look like for the Montalcino winery? “The basis for doing well is there – answers Andrea – Until mid-summer the drought was frightening, but then some rain in August made us breathe a sigh of relief. Now, the wide temperature range helps the vineyards: the temperature drops at night and rises during the day. This is one of the factors that helps the grapes to ripen in this last phase and makes them perfect for harvesting.
Ungulates and climate change: threats to wine-growers.
But not everything is rosy. Winegrowers in Montalcino often have to deal with two external threats that risk ruining their work in the vineyard.
“The problem of ungulates in Montalcino is becoming more and more serious,’ Andrea continues. ‘To defend ourselves, we have installed fences to keep them away, but the risk of something going wrong is always just around the corner.
“And then,’ he continues, ‘there are the climate changes that threaten viticulture. Fortunately, the April 2021 frost in Montalcino did little damage to our vineyards and today we can say we are at the start of an excellent harvest for Sangiovese. The choice of the location of our vineyards was not made by chance: our vineyards are in a privileged position given the excellent exposure of the Montalcino hills, and, in fact, behind it, there is a lot of study and respect for what the plant really needs. We start from the assumption that not all varieties can grow everywhere”.
As a matter of fact, this is much more than an organic winery: the respect for nature starts from the roots. Since Andrea took over the company, his philosophy has been one of ‘do nothing’. We have tried to reduce human intervention in the vineyard to a minimum, only when necessary,” he explains. “This is because our choice has been to maintain a balance with nature, with its flora and fauna, and to support it no matter what. There must be a relationship of mutual collaboration and not of overpowering between the winegrower and his territory: this harvest that has just finished is another moment of encounter between us and what our territory gives us. And the good prospects that lie ahead convince us that we are on the right track.