La Vialla and Nature
The Fattoria has always - for over 40 years now! - cultivated the land using Organic Methods and since 1997 also Biodynamics.
Organic agriculture doesn’t just mean not using chemical pesticides and fertilizer, it promotes the soil’s natural fertility, certifying and guaranteeing: crop rotation, periodic rest of the soil, the choice of selected varieties of plants and seeds (organic seed register), green manuring and the ban on GMOs (genetically modified organisms). It requires ample space in barns for the animals, insists on the use of grazing, prohibits the use of hormones and only permits antibiotics in the actual event of illness, safeguards the dignity of life and likewise the way it ends.
Biodynamic agriculture enhances the organic quality by improving the soil’s fertility and the biodiversity: it considers an entire farm as a single organism, in which the land, plants, animals and man can live in a harmonious, closed cycle - from cultivation, to production, to recycling waste through composting. This circular system foresees the use of Biodynamic Preparations, concentrated compounds (also produced at the Fattoria) to be sprayed periodically on the crops; of a biodynamic compost heap and macerated plants and flowers; as well as having a lunar calendar for the main operations of cultivation. Biodynamics is essentially the good, wise, meticulous agriculture of our forefathers, who managed to produce healthy fruits and look after the environment for centuries without wastefulness and without chemicals.
At La Vialla we cultivate, using Biodynamic Methods, 650 hectares of vineyards, fields, olive groves, vegetable and fruit patches - all Demeter certified - which correspond to 80% of the Fattoria’s land. Then there is the land recently “adopted”, which is still being converted; the produce made with crops from these areas is labelled with the specification “da agricoltura Biologica-Organica in conversione” (= from Organic farming in conversion) for the period foreseen by European regulations.
To the certified Organic and Biodynamic methods we add La Vialla’s method: it’s more a way of being and of doing things, which pervades the hearts of all the “Viallini”, both staff and family, with the common intent of respecting people, animals and the earth.
La Vialla’s method
Giuliana and Piero Lo Franco’s dream was to see abandoned countryside come back to life. They began by getting an old farmstead back into operation and didn’t have to think about which method they would use for cultivation. For them, the only way that existed was the organic method (which, in 1978, was not yet defined by law; it was only officially recognised various years later, giving it the importance it deserved). Twenty years later, driven by the desire for continuous improvement, together with their sons, they began to “try their hand” at biodynamics. La Vialla is certified biodynamic since 2005.
Giuliana, Piero and then their sons - Gianni, Antonio and Bandino - have always been inspired by the idea of good, healthy food, and the consequent (and at the same time antecedent) protection of nature and its fruits. Today Fattoria La Vialla is an example of what it means to be ecological and sustainable and, with the help of the Lo Franco Family Foundation, it has made it possible to convert a total of 787 hectares of land to organic and biodynamic agriculture.
- La Vialla is certified Climate Neutral by NatureOffice: it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces (between 2014 and 2017 it absorbed a total of 15,323.32 tons of CO2 eq; the figures for 2018 will be available soon).
- In 2009 La Vialla participated at the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15), as an example of sustainability in Italy.
- In 2017 it won the B.A.U.M. (German Environmental Management Association) Environmental Award for “outstanding commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development”.