Our Philosphy

In choosing our wines we're looking beyond the norm. We don't buy industrially-made wines. While there is plenty of good Italian wine to be had, DrinkItaly is on the trail of wines that are truly special in some respect. We promote local traditional culture and environmental soundness by sourcing artisan wines, with organic certification wherever possible, knowing that this is the surest route to a joyous, unadulterated product, with its own distinctive characteristics.

Our wines are produced in limited quantities, often just a couple of thousand bottles per year. We underwrite the unrivalled quality of our products, in the hope of supplying Italian wine lovers with a special experience, the discovery of first-class, unknown estates, and the appreciation of a range of re-discovered almost forgotten historic autochthonous grape varieties.

Wine as Food, to quote our own philosophy, we would like to emphasize that wine is an agricultural product for human consumption, giving energy and nutrients: in other words, food. We would like to promote wine as an integral part of a meal, where the food brings out the full taste of the wine. Most Italian wines are made to accompany a meal, and taste quite different when drunk alone. They are particularly susceptible to temperature and food pairing, and can only be fully enjoyed when allowed to open up and breathe, at the right temperature, without the rigidity imparted by chill air. It is quite impossible to get the full impact of a finely made Morellino or Nobile di Montepulciano without allowing them to spread their aromas and open up.

There are several key elements that we believe every good wine connoisseur might want to consider:

Organic Wines are the product of organically grown grapes. What little extraneous matter there is, such as copper sulphate, is very strictly controlled. They are otherwise free of any artificial chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which can include fungicides, herbicides, soil fumigants, growth hormones and other chemicals commonly used to grow, treat and clarify what should be essentially a natural product. Instead of blasting the vines and soil with such chemicals, an organic vineyard focuses on developing a soil that's alive with organisms that work to create strong, healthy crops. These crops will be more resistant to disease and will tend to acquire fewer pests. The result of this approach is a well-nourished, healthy plant and high-quality fruit that provides the best possible basis for top-class wines with minimal impact on the environment.

Sulphur Dioxide sounds frightening but is a natural result of the fermentation process, as naturally occurring sulphites are produced by the yeasts. It's an effective preservative and removes unwanted bacteria, so naturally occurring sulphur dioxide is in all wines, the difference is when added sulphur dioxide is used as a preservative. Some people develop allergic reactions, resulting in migraines, respiratory illness and skin complaints. Organic wines are required to have 30-50% less sulphur dioxide than non-organic wines, making the organic option the most suitable for all those who suffer from allergies and other intolerances.

Vegetarian and Vegan Wines are increasing in popularity. Whilst wine is principally derived from grapes, and animal products are not used as ingredients, some wine producers use animal ingredients such as gelatine or isinglass as fining agents, to remove proteins, yeasts and other organic substances. Wines that use egg whites as fining agents (traditionally used in clarifying) can be classed as vegetarian, while those which use clay or board are suitable for vegans.

Biodynamic agriculture is regarded by many as the most sustainable and ecologically sound farming system. It is also the hardest to explain, deriving from the practices and philosophy of Rudolph Steiner. It is a form of organic farming which emphasises a holistic balance and interrelationship between soil, plants and animals, based on the view that these are essentially self-nourishing systems that require very little external input. Some would add the energies and input of the human workers who tend the vineyards and wineries. The result is healthy and vigorous crops that retain a strong flavour and reflect the soil they are grown in. While some of the practices sound esoteric, the quality and distinctiveness of the result has made the more adventurous end of the wine world sit up.

 

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