by Matteo Pucci | www.wechianti.com
The best time to visit the Vallone di Cecione is in the spring when you can see the ﬂowering in rows. Exceptional scents and colors make this corner of the Conca d’Oro in Panzano in Chianti even more a paradise.
It is here that Francesco Anichini runs the family business with the collaboration of his parents, Giuliano and Anna, helped by the agronomist, Adriano Zago, Francesco was convinced of organic and biodynamic “row”.
“My typical clients? They are people interested in a “family’ wine”, he explains. It is a question of choice. The most receptive countries are Switzerland, Germany, and now some American cities. There is deﬁnitely more attention paid today to organic products and genuineness”.
The Anichini Family has wine in their DNA. “We have been producing wine for more than 100 years on my father’s side, ﬁrst in the area of Siena, near Castelnuovo Berardenga, as sharecroppers. In 1961, they came here to Cecione. For many years they followed a course with always more respect for the environment, trying to propose a genuine wine, without using chemical treatments. In 2001, I became part of the business, and until 2003 – 2004 we continued to sell the wine in bulk. After a few years of apprenticeship, I tried to give value to all of our work, going forth on the market and introducing the history of our family which has been making wine for a century”.
The ﬁrst bottled vintage was in 2004. Francesco took care of everything, Including the label, which shows a beautiful 1975 photo of his mother and father going up to the vineyard. The winery extends over 8 hectares, with circa 4 hectares of vineyard and 700 olive trees.
“The choice,” continues Francesco, “was organic, But I also followed the biodynamic philosophy. From a practical point of view, it concerns rendering the land more receptive and fertile with manure, spreading the dynamized silica on the leaves at dawn. In this way there is a strong interaction between sunlight and the leaf, and the photosynthesis of chlorophyll is catalyzed. I do this two or three times a year and have healthy vines which don’t get illnesses. Of course, the season and the climate carry a fundamental weight”.
“Then there is the so-called seeding of the vineyards, of the central part,” Francesco tells us. “With passion, each year I do it with different herbs, together with my agronomist. We plan a mix of verbs and alternate rows with organic substances (arugula,favetta, mustard, horseradish, peas and others), which have the effect of reducing energy and refreshing the soil (barley, for example) giving life to the underground”.
Francesco strongly believes in the organic and biodynamic way. He honestly admits that “being organic is beautiful and easy. We are up high, exposed to the south east in the Conca D’Oro (the Golden basin). The name says it all” .
But that is not enough: “We always use the least copper and sulfur possible. For the last few years, thanks to the climate as well, I am making wine with great satisfaction. For example, the limit foreseen by the organic “rules” is for 6 kg of copper per hectare per year. I am able to do it with just a little more than 1 kg a year. The quantitative difference is covered with many other natural products: propolis,chamomile, infusion of nettle, and macerated algae. Going in this direction is really discovering the land. We need to go back to the land and live it in full. We know everything about each square meter of our land”.
We then go to the wine cellar. “Here to,” explains Francesco, “we have reached the point that we don’t use yeast or additives. After a period of study, I have produced a wine which, if it weren’t for the sulﬁtes (60 to 70% lower, however, in respect to the dosage allowed by the consortium of Chianti wine) it could be considered 100% biodynamic. In this manner, according to me, the wine mirrors the vintage, the climate, and the region”.
Among his products are Chianti Classico Docg “Vallone di Cecione”, a pure Canaiolo, a rosè from Sangiovese grapes “Allegra” (named for his daughter), the Igt, “campo dell’Orzo”, and grappa “Vallone di Cecione”.
“I followed this path,” he concludes. “For a few years, when I was younger, I thought it necessary to make wine as a sommelier, a prize wine. Sincerely, now this doesn’t matter. I’m trying to bottle the actual territory. The best compliment someone can give me is to tell me they drank almost a whole bottle with great satisfaction and woke up the next morning without any problems. This is the only perceivable route, also from a commercial point of view. Wine should be made… for drinking”.