Castello Dei Rampolla Toscano 1994

Castello Dei Rampolla Toscano 1994

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"Castello dei Rampolla is an estate winery in Panzano in Greve in Chianti in the Chianti Classico DOCG region of Tuscany. Under its late owner Alceo Dei Napoli, Rampolla was one of the first Chianti Classico estates to plant Cabernet Sauvignon (the consultant at the time was the late Giacomo Tachis). The estate is now run by his children, son Luca Dei Napoli (fluent English) who practises Biodynamics (without certification) and his sister Laurizia.

Staff: Winemaker: Marcus Edler von der Planitz (German).

The estate: 120 hectares (296 acres) of land, of which 33 hectares (82 acres) of vines plus cereal crops and pasture.

Biodynamics: Biodynamic practices began here in 1994. Leonello Anello consulted from 1998-2004. Adriano Zago was also involved in implementing Biodynamic management here. From 2004 the entire (then) 35 hectare (86.5 acres) estate vineyard was being farmed biodynamically with no consultant.

Vineyard management: Luca dei Napoli told me in 2010 that sward management was a mix of cover crops (sown with purchased seed) and or native sward. His aim was for the sward to self-reseed. In 2016 Luca told me (05th Oct 2016) that he was leaving ‘indigenous wild plants to grow in the vines across every row. I prefer to see weeds growing because it is better than having no ground cover and just seeing the stones growing. I do not want to be the owner of stones. So I don’t move the soil. My father kept ploughing the soil. I worked for my father. And I saw stones growing in the vines every year. When you see stones you see the soil has become a skeleton. Less is more. Weeds are cut rather than ploughed, either once or twice a season, or between three and four times in more vigorous vineyards closer to the river. Grassing helps balance the extremes of heat and strong showers. The weeds or native plants which comprise the sward have shallow,  superficial roots, so they help rather than compete with the vines. We only spray in the morning when there is no wind. We can therefore spray at low pressure. It takes two mornings with three machines to do the whole vineyard. This allows us to be very flexible. We use flowforms to dynamise [stir] the water for biodynamic preparation sprays. We spray into the atmosphere to balance the weather. It helps create a micro-climate, a sphere around the place where we grow the vines. We have six dynamisers for stirring, of which three are made of granite and three are made of plastic. We also invested in very light vineyard machinery, weighing between 500 and 700kg (1,100-1543 lbs). This means we can be flexible, and get into the vineyard more quickly to spray it after a rain event and without causing soil compaction. We also use effective micro-organisms and radionics. We want to stop using both copper-based and sulfur-based sprays." -Winery notes

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