Banfi Sangiovese changes shape in the vineyard
If Brunello is considered to be one of the greatest Italian reds today and the village of Montalcino enjoys worldwide fame, much is owed to the insight of John and Harry Mariani, among the first to invest in this territory at the end of the 1970s. The two Italian-American brothers (who already owned Banfi Vintners, a leading wine importing company in the United States) put together an estate of little more than 3 thousand hectares of vineyards, olive groves, woods, plums and other crops, setting up the Castello Banfi project, the greatest winery in the Montalcino area to date.
In the winery’s vineyards, Sangiovese is the protagonist of an experimentation project on training systems, which started in 2002.
Developing the alberello system for Banfi Sangiovese
The agronomist Gianni Savelli explained the new experimentation project on Sangiovese: “next to the classic spurred cordon, which is used for three quarters of our vineyards, we have developed a kind of modified alberello or open spurred cordon. We call it ‘candelabra’, because that’s what it looks like,” said Savelli. “In ten years of research we have understood that it gives its best in the so-called marginal, poor soils. It has few canes, about 4-5 per plant, so it doesn’t need many nutritional substances. The size of the vine remains limited and the bunches are well exposed, which means they need fewer treatments and fewer hours of manual labour.”
Viglierchio explains Banfi alberello
As Enrico Viglierchio, general manager of Banfi, explains: “It is a decidedly Eco sustainable system, which gives us excellent results in terms of quality. It is the first time we have talked to the press about it: we wanted to take enough time to assess the performance over the long term and I have to say that we are very satisfied. Our alberello doesn’t have a name yet, but for now we can call it “Banfi alberello.” And in the future? “We are going to increase the vineyard surface area with this system by about 60 hectares, all with Sangiovese.”