Querciabella (beautiful oak) is founded by Giuseppe (Pepito) Castiglioni in 1974. He dreamed of producing elegant, rich wines, made not only from native Sangiovese grapes, but also from those of his beloved Bordeaux and Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc, and among others.
In the 2000s, Pepito’s son, Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni’s passion for animal rights and the preservation of the environment took organics at Querciabella one step further by introducing a 100% plant‑based approach to biodynamics that forbids the use of animal products on their vineyards or in their cellars. They have practiced what they term ‘cruelty-free biodynamics’ – only using non-animal-derived products at every stage of the process. Today, they are one of the largest biodynamics and organic estates in Italy.
Querciabella’s commitment to creating extraordinary wines, without causing harm or disrupting the delicate balance of nature, will not waiver. It is this commitment that makes their wines as lively and beautiful as their land and they have been called “Burgundian in spirit”.
Today, that single hectare in Tuscany is just a small part of the more than 100 hectares of the Querciabella vineyards. Flanked in the Chianti Classico region by oak forests and rolling hills, and in Maremma by the rough beauty of an unspoilt Tuscan coastline, all of the grape varieties Pepito dreamed of now thrive in the rich, biodynamic soil that has become the single most important ingredient in Querciabella’s award-winning recipes.
Over 3 decades of organic farming has shaped the way they think of soil. At Querciabella, they treat it as a living medium, critical to good farming and key to a stable wine-growing ecosystem. Their winemaking manifesto condemns the reliance on agrochemicals that disrupt the ecosystem, contaminate water supplies, harm wildlife, and crucially impact the vine’s ability to organise its own nutrient system. Instead, they advocate for conscious viticulture that naturally creates a balanced environment not only for the vines to thrive in but also for the microorganisms that support their activity.
From cover-crops to herbal preparations as well as manual tending and the correct timing of viticultural interventions, Querciabella combines various techniques to ensure ecological balance. With roots feeding deep into healthy, living soil, the vines thrive and achieve a more homogenous growth and grape ripening. At the same time, by enhancing the natural connections between the vine roots and soil bacteria, microorganisms and fungi, they allow each vineyard to express its site-specific character. Querciabella stands in firm opposition to the use of GMOs and rejects any artificial manipulations: stripped by any unnecessary additives, their winemaking focuses on preserving precision and varietal purity, bringing out the essence of each grape they grow to the highest degree possible.
Querciabella is living proof that a vegan winegrowing approach which is free from animal cruelty is not only entirely possible, but it’s also beneficial and instrumental in achieving extraordinary ecological results.
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