The Longest Enduring Off-grid Winery in Europe
October 7th – Montepulciano, Italy – The tenth harvest to take place in Salcheto’s off-grid cellar has begun. This milestone marks a huge moment for the Montepulciano-based winery, which is now the winery with the longest continually running off-grid cellar.
“Back in 2005, my idea of a sustainable cellar seemed like science fiction to some,” said Michele Manelli, President and Founder of the Salcheto winery. “Then fortunately the world evolved precisely towards these social and environmental values in all sectors, including wine production. What seemed impossible ten years ago is now a concrete reality and we are proud to be a prime example. On October 9th, we will settle down and look back at what we have managed to create.”
Salcheto operates using an off-grid cellar thanks to a whole series of innovative solutions. Among them, the solar skylights illuminating all workspaces, the vertical gardens, the adiabatic irrigation, and the natural ventilation conditioning the cellar during summertime, vinifications that exploit the energy produced by the fermentation itself to move must and pomace, the production of energy from all pruning waste and the low enthalpy geothermal system laying under the vineyards, up to a production of electricity from photovoltaics.
Within ten years, these advances have made it possible to save over 1,100,000 kWh of energy, significantly contributing to the reduction of the company’s carbon footprint and the impact of its activity on the environment – a core matter in our business project.
Today, Salcheto is a benefit corporation. It is the first-ever winery to have estimated and made public its impact in Carbon Footprint, inspiring subsequent projects such as the Forum for the Sustainability of Wine from 2013-2015, or Equalitas, the leading certification standard for
This 2021 harvest promises to be, yet again, a hard one, due to ongoing climate change. Drought and wind gave the grapes a difficult time throughout the summer, while elsewhere storms and floods appeared. One more tangible sign of the ever-increasing urgency to find new balances between production and environment. Fortunately, this does not prevent the winemakers and cellarmen from enhancing the great quality of the Vino Nobile territory in which they operate. We can still expect a good promising wine to toast with in the future.