Rocca delle Macìe Dedicated to Improving their World

Grasping the value of internal resources makes Rocca delle Macìe a special wine estate. Learn how grassroots investment ensures a rosy future for this Chianti winery.

By Francesca Ciancio
Jul 06, 2021

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THE ONGOING QUEST FOR SUSTAINABILITY, ACCORDING TO ROCCA DELLE MACIE
 

Sustainability is an important option, and for one leading winery, it’s become a commitment, often setting an example to follow for other companies inside and outside of the wine world.  When seen in this light, the choice to follow the sustainability path seems more like a true calling for Rocca delle Macìe’s Sergio Zingarelli, Tuscan winery owner.

And Zingarelli sees it just as that:  an obligation but not a sacrifice, and instead, as one important page in a continuously evolving story of Tuscan wines.

Rocca delle Macìe’s green story began many, many moons ago, at the beginning of the 1990s, when a young Sergio began to learn the winemaker’s duties working alongside his father, Italo.  Sergio explains to his father that he wants to invest in a newviticultural era,” one based on the excellence of their grapes and their resulting wines.

Another company within the world of fine agricultural traditions is the Podere Forte group, as they aim to make their pasta project take flight.  Check it out here, Biodynamic Farm Podere Forte Rolls out New Pasta Project.

As such, the entire approach to vineyard management changes:  the winemakers shifted away from seeing their vineyards as being single, massive vineyards.  Instead, the focus turned to single parcels of vineyards and their transmittal of each territorial detail, a wealth of wine diversity that had up until now been overlooked.

After nearly 30 years of working along this path, the viticultural attention to details has only increased, as the wine estate itself has grown.  Rocca delle Macìe now measures more than 200 hectares of vineyards to its name, 105 in the Chianti Classico area between Siena and Florence, and another 55 or so in Maremma.  The remaining hectares instead are all in the Chianti general area, although outside of the Black Rooster (il Gallo Nero) perimeter.

If you want to read more about Rocca delle Macìe’s Sergioveto and Roccato selections, dive right into the Rocca delle Macìe wines with Lele Gobbi’s Sergioveto and Roccato: Parallel Lines that Converge.
 

THE BEST MARKETING TACTIC IS A QUALITY PRODUCT

Rocca delle Macìe is certainly not a company that has jumped on the sustainability bandwagon in recent times in order to market themselves with more success.  As noted above, their journey in this direction began eons ago, and we can trace the various stages of this approach.

Hoping to continue producing increasingly distinctive wines, the Zingarelli family decided in the 2000s to abandon a number of highly questionable and invasive environmental techniques, replacing them with a specific internal protocol founded on positive, good agricultural practices.

Today, it’s entirely normal to discuss reducing water consumption and rationing general use of water, soil, and air.  Reducing the human footprint and impact on the agricultural ecosystem is par for the course nowadays, but 20 years ago, it was an exotic discussion met with scepticism in both local and specialised wine press sources.

If you’re already ready to go with your Rocca delle Macìe wine selection, in this case a lovely Sergioveto Chianti Classico, how about making a terrific dish of Oven-Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbs to pair with that wine?

Technology has often made a fundamental differences, thanks to a functional and productive support system added to production methods that were effective but outdated.

As such, today the maintenance and supervision of vineyards in general have digitalized, with cell phones delivering messages if vineyard health.  Cell phones are now also able to process weather signal station messages, and infrared rays are instead used to interpret the vineyard’s health status.

Technology pairs perfectly with the more archaic agricultural practices in vineyard maintenance, working alongside other systems in order to present important final results.  Technology and instinctive know-how work together to tackle the eternally antagonistic fight between insect populations, with introduction of “good” insects to counterweigh the  results of “bad” insects, the creation of plant sexual confusion when working with pheromones, the habit of vineyard-side bee-keeping, and the recovery of rainwater and waste-waters.

Are you ready to learn more about the Rocca delle Macìe wine estate?  Don’t miss Filippo Bartolotta’s intro to the Zingarelli family and their passion for Chianti wine production, Rocca delle Macie: Italian films, families and love for chianti wine.

 

CERTIFYING GOOD PRACTICES, THE THIRD STEP FOR ROCCA DELLE MACIE

Simply claiming a sustainable approach isn’t enough these days - companies must find a way of certifying their efforts and results.  This need exists in order to publicize externally what the company is achieving, but also to function as a source of historical and analytical data that can be used to study how the company is performing.  In other words, the provide the winemakers with a constantly updated company report.

Simply being sustainable is no longe enough: companies must find a way of certifying their approaches and methods.

This explains why the Rocca delle Macìe estate specifically follows certain certification processes applicable to the wine sector.  These principles are based on 4 indicators followed by international standardsAir (climate footprint), Water (water footprint), Vineyard (footprint of agricultural management practices, and Territory (socio-economic and cultural footprint).

Equally relevant in the process is the attention paid to the product throughout its entire lifetime, not just during the production process.  Here, the worlds of distribution, consumption and disposal all come into play.

Observers and producers constantly focus on a path without a determined end or final conclusion.  In this case however, the focus is more on the perennial aims at constant improvement, and can’t disregard the cause/effect relationship of the company’s actions and decisions.

 

SUSTAINABILITY AS SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Sustainability is more and more the go-to buzzword of the movement.  The issues that arise in this field are endless, and constantly deserve attention.  One such issue is the treatment of male vs. female workers in the agricultural sector.  This segment of sustainability is a crucial point when we consider the priorities expressed of this top wine estate and their desire for ever-improving overall conditions for workers both within the estate and outside of the estate.

Thanks to this important awareness, the Rocca delle Macìe company has opted to invest in the labor force, improving their health and safety overall, enriched staff training, and increased support in activities geared towards young workers and female staff.

Rocca delle Macìe has also increased development in the interaction and engagement with their local geographic areas where they are present, and engagement with local residents.  Another possibly overlooked but critical chain in the process is the fair compensation for producers directly involved in their supply chain.

And Rocca delle Macìe isn’t just all about the wines.  Be sure to learn more about their thoughts and perspectives on hospitality services as well, with Borgo di Fizzano: A Stunning Chianti Landmark.

The overall Rocca delle Macìe philosophy is that by taking care of their own people and places, an overall enhancement of local abundance can happen, to the benefit of both people working within  the company and those surrounding the staff and the company itself.

The Chianti Classico and Maremma areas are brimming with popular traditions, archeological sites, natural and artistic heritages that the Zingarelli family aims at protecting and elevating.  Thanks to their investment with initiatives implemented in the world of food and wine tourism, the future is looking bright for both the Rocca delle Macìe wine estate and Zingarelli family, but also the areas where they’re located and the people who work alongside them, each and every day.


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