Why are there Birds on the labels of Castellare wines?
In the vineyards of Castellare di Castellina for more than 40 years no synthetic chemical products have been used to protect the local fauna and health. The birds are now an iconic presence that distinguishes the wines of Castellare making them recognizable all over the world. It was 1977 when, for the first time, a Goldfinch appeared on the label of Vin Santo S. Niccolo’ and the first vintage of I Sodi di S. Niccolò.
The decision to use this delicious little bird was taken by Paolo Panerai not only to pay homage to its beauty, but above all to communicate the company’s production philosophy: the use of herbicides and pesticides was (and in part still is) widespread in the area, however, right from the start Castellare di Castellina decided to avoid the use of herbicides, pesticides and any kind of systemic chemical product, anticipating similar choices made by other companies in the years to come. And so, from that very first label, every new vintage pays homage to one of the many varieties of birds at risk of extinction that colour the Chianti countryside.
About the producer, Castellare Di Castellina :
Castellare di Castellina was born from the union of four farms (Castellare, Caselle, San Niccolò and Le Case) created by Paolo Panerai with the aim of producing wine of the best possible quality. It was the 70s and the so-called Renaissance of Italian wine had begun. A Renaissance to which Castellare had the opportunity to give its contribution, keeping tradition and innovation together. The tradition in the care of the vineyards and the soils, distinguished between fields and firm (where fields are the easiest to work and firm the hardest but best plots for the cultivation of the vine), in the choice to still produce a wine according to the method of the Tuscan government, to respect the Chianti Classico using only autochthonous vines and to produce a great wine, internationally recognized as one of the greatest red wines in the world, using only autochthonous Tuscan vines. The innovation was first pursued with the creation of the first experimental Chianti vineyard together with the University of Milan and the University of Florence to implement the first scientific selection of Sangiovese clones (here called Sangioveto). And then with the introduction of the use of the barrique following careful studies and the advice of Emile Peynaud, the most famous oenologist we can remember, as well as the constant care of every cellar process that continues today in that incessant and always new work that is the production of quality wines.
Castellare di Castellina, in the heart of the Chianti Classico area, has a total of 80 hectares, 20 of which are olive groves. The vineyards are 33, situated on the hills of a natural amphitheatre, facing south-east, with an average altitude of 370 metres above sea level. The vineyards are between 7 and over 45 years old and the yields per hectare in Castellare are very low, in order to obtain the highest quality. An excellent exposure to the sun, good water drainage, a mixed soil of calcareous marl, galestro and little clay give wines, both red and white, very well structured, intense and suitable for a long ageing in the bottle.
In the vineyards of Castellare no synthetic chemical products are used to respect nature and to make organic wines. This philosophy is testified by the labels that have a different bird design every year, increasingly rare for the indiscriminate use of poisons and herbicides in the vineyards.