The biodiversity of the Ricasoli world

The term “biodiversity” is increasingly popular, but what does it specifically mean in the life and management of a winery? At Brolio, the protection and enhancement of the land have been a part of the Ricasoli family’s life for decades. Since 1993, when Francesco Ricasoli took on the responsibility of leading the company, he has clearly understood this, even going as far as to take the necessary steps to earn the Equalitas certification for sustainable production. This certification requires ongoing checks and analyses, one key aspect of which is biodiversity.

Given its large size, any discussion about biodiversity at Brolio must start with its wooded land: out of 1,200 total hectares of property, 800 are covered by forest, making up 73% of the business’s land area. This forest consists of oaks and holm oaks, as well as junipers, myrtles, and strawberry trees, a prime example of Mediterranean scrubland. It is crossed by numerous streams and is home to typical wildlife of this area. This wealth of biodiversity has been a treasure since the past, when the forest served the essential needs of the local population, providing firewood and other vital resources.  Even today, cutting wood according to specific guidelines helps protect the forest, a widely encouraged practice that also revitalizes it.

Of course, the immense value of Brolio’s forests is not just aesthetic. They act as a green space, capable of absorbing significant amounts of carbon dioxide. This has been monitored for a long time by specialized firms to quantify the environmental impact of production activities and guide management for the purposes of supply chain efficiency. In addition to traditional forest management, maintaining the grass and shrub cover of ditches and natural vegetation is crucial for pollinators and wildlife in general, as is the care for wetland areas, whether naturally occurring like springs and small ponds, or man-made like water collection tanks.

These are all extremely resource- and time-consuming but essential activities, because at Brolio, “biodiversity” is not just a buzzword, but an integral part of Ricasoli’s corporate philosophy. Its careful management, based on scientific data and constant monitoring, not only preserves the natural ecosystem but also contributes to the sustainability and quality of our wine products. This is concrete proof that love for the land and nature can go hand in hand with business activities, and it is possible to harmonize wine-making with environmental and territorial conservation.