Weather station data
from the Brolo vineyard in Borgonato
trees saved
to date
Real time 157.2 kW
from system startup (Feb. 2011) 4020839.7 kWh
CO2 SAVED 21350.7 t
Barrels of oil
made unnecessary 5511.8 bbl
The solar panel installation
on top on the production
facilities produce 41%
of the cellar’s energy
needs (2014 data)
The Mille1Vigna project

Our “green journey” first took shape in 2006, with the Mille1Vigna (Thousand and One Vineyards) project, an initiative designed and carried out together with SATA agronomy consultants and with the Department of Crop Sciences of the University of Milan.

Mille1Vigna is the natural continuation of the zonation project begun in 1992 by the Consorzio per la Tutela del Franciacorta, which involved Berlucchi’s estate vineyards, amounting to 85 hectares, as well as those of its trusted independent grapegrowers, whose holdings range from a total of 420 to 500 hectares. The objective was to identify the soil profiles and qualities in individual vineyard parcel, overall some 1,000, in order to compile a detailed “ID card” for each
The grapes from each parcel were vinified separately, and the resulting wines were then tasted, in order to identify their individual characteristics.

Mille1Vigna has made it possible to eliminate vineyards not up to our quality standards, and to thus focus our energies on better-quality parcels.

Vigour maps

In 2008, the project further evolved, with the first-time use of vigour maps. Aerial infra-red photographs were taken of the estate vineyards, utilising drone and satellite technology. The different chromatic gradations in the photos made it possible to distinguish areas with greater vegetative vigour (square metres of foliar canopy per vine), more gradual ripening processes, higher acidities, and lower sugar levels from those less vigorous, with higher sugars and alcohols, and lower crop levels.

The vigour maps make possible accurate pre-harvest field sampling. The sampler “navigates” the vine-rows by means of a PPS-enabled hand-held computer containing the vigour maps, which enable him to see his location in real time and to select clusters from areas of various levels of vigour.
Cluster samples are of fundamental importance in setting the date for starting the harvest and for determining which grapes will go into which specific wines. The maps make this process totally reliable.
The harvesting then takes place in each micro-area, calibrated according to the character of each vineyard and the ripening curves of the grapes.

Precision fertilisation

The maps, loaded into computers installed on the tractors in the vineyard, allow us as well to fertilise the soil in a very precise manner, by utilisation of a variable-rate spreader that applies the substances according to the recorded vigour of the parcel.

Precision fertilisation, started in 2009, has yielded impressive results. In the vineyards in which it has been used, we have noticed a significant change in types of vigour, with a useful levelling-out of overall vigour values.

The planting of new vineyards is also performed taking into account soil profiles. Franciacorta is not, as is often assumed, a growing area with uniform characteristics; the zonation studies carried out by the Consorzio revealed, in fact, a great diversity of soil types.

Vineyard treatments

We are now converting to organic agriculture and previously, for more than a decade now, we have been using low-impact substances, both synthetic and natural, focusing on those that protect useful insects, and on reducing water applications to a minimum to avoid harmful runoff.

Treatments are planned in accord with weather conditions, holding off, for example, if risks of attack are low. In addition, we concentrate on indirect approaches: green operations (leaf-pulling and shoot-thinning) and pruning to reduce crop load accord to vine vigour.

Further, beginning in 2012, we have been sowing some of the vineyards in Borgonato with specific grasses that block the growth of noxious vegetation that would require heavy spraying. We have planted sheep fescue in the aisles, and clover sand red fescue in other areas. This cover crop protects soil fertility as well, stimulates biological activity, and helps to control vigour.

Pheromones in the vineyard

Our agronomists regularly set out traps in the vineyards to control the grape berry moth, a very harmful insect that attacks the clusters during veraison.
By monitoring the females that the trap attracts, we can calibrate the use of pheromone diffusers.
These are special dispensers that broadcast into the air female hormones that disorient the male insect, considerably reducing the number of copulations, and therefore the insect population in the vineyards.

With the collaboration of the Crop Institute of San Michele all’Adige, we are now experimenting with different type of diffusers, in order to identify the most efficient for our vineyards.

Water for wine

All too often attention is not paid to the fact that the production of one litre of wine requires up to five litres of water.

This is a large amount, and in recent years we have reduced it to three litres and plan to reduce it even further.

Such water savings have been achieved by no-loss cleaning systems, as well as by recycling (for example, washing out the picking bins during harvest).

With respect to wastewater, biologically-active substances in the holding tank reduce its organic load, so that it can be disposed of without causing problems.

Allergens in wine

Our Franciacorta wines are allergen-free.

Since 2005, we have eliminated use of products derived from eggs and milk, as well as those containing gluten.

For clarifying the wines, when necessary, we utilise ultra-pure vegetable proteins, pea extract, and sulphate-free fermentation bio-regulators.

The levels of sulphites, which trigger migraines in certain individuals, are far below legally-allowed maximums.

The Ita.Ca project

We enthusiastically joined the ITA.CA® project of SATA agronomy consultants. This consists of a “carbon calculator” that estimates the amount of greenhouse gasses that are produced during a given industrial process.
The carbon footprint is expressed in terms of equivalent units of CO2, the main culprit of the greenhouse effect; it is based on an algorithm that includes all types of emissions derived from a winery’s activities, from vineyard cultivation through to bottling.
The footprint takes into account the contribution of every step and each component of the production process to the greenhouse effect and to overall pollution. It also analyses the energy sources that are used both directly as well as for purchased products.

The project objective is to substantially reduce CO2 emissions, and to sensitise the company and its stakeholders to the importance of such a reduction.
Beginning in February 2013, ISO 14064-1 certification by Valoritalia has testified to the fact that our company “virtuously monitors” CO2 emissions through all of its production processes.

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