Earlier in the year some of our very lucky colleagues had the opportunity to visit one of our producers, Barone Pizzini winery in Northern Italy. They flew out to the city of Bergamo, near Milan, and were met by Silvano Brescianini, the managing partner of Barone Pizzini. We were keen to find out if they enjoyed it and of course what they learnt whilst they were busily sampling some fine wine! Read some extracts from their wine diaries below.
“Our hotel was an old monastery situated on a hill, isolated and peaceful. It was very easy to feel relaxed; our evening meal was carefully crafted and paired with the perfect wine.
Barone Pizzini winery is a natural partner of The Westmorland family, not only were their wines the first organic wines in Franciacorta, they also have a bio-dynamic philosophy of leaving the earth better and healthier than when they found it.
The vines that are planted are not watered. This is deliberate, so the roots go deep into the soil to create a strong and vibrant vine. This may yield less but Silvano believes that the quality of grape is superior. The location of each vineyard is carefully selected, so that the right grape is paired with the soil. Wild flowers and herbs are allowed to grow around the vines, rather than being removed as they aid the biodiversity and aid in the health of the soil.”
Dean Baldwin – Gloucester Services Farmshop
“Bio-dynamic – in short, bio-dynamic farming is enhanced organic farming which involves increased effort and meticulous attention to detail. It applies strict ecological principles plus accounts for lunar phases and astrological influences to determine best conditions for planting, cultivating and harvesting. It was a thoroughly interesting, informative and enjoyable trip. Thank you!”
Jackie Crocker – Tebay Services Farmshop
“Although we travelled just over 1,100 miles to get to beautiful Franciacorta, the similarities and shared ideals of both Barone Pizzini and Westmorland are obvious. Whilst visiting the vineyards Silvano explained the importance behind soil type and its nurture. Whilst in the company of Silvano, we had the honour of trying 17 of Barone Pizzini’s wines at a tasting and the rest whilst we enjoyed the regions excellent cuisine.
Since 1870 when the Pizzini family arrived in Franciacorta, they have always been part of the community. Respecting the land and representing its history and potential is all key to the company’s success. Silvano explained how only 18 people work at Barone Pizinni’s and they only hire more people during the harvesting period. This close knit family and workforce is quite a special quality most companies lose once they get successful. Westmorland and Barone Pizzini are both family run business and employ local people. Both are focused on the idea of working together as a team.
After visiting beautiful Franciacorta and being in the kind company Silvano, I’m honestly incredibly proud to be part of the team selling Barone Pizzini at Westmorland.”
Helen Bateman – Tebay Services Farmshop