What we do
On the table today tagliatelle “paglia e fieno”
Today in the biodynamic vegetable patch, planting onions and cleaning strawberries
Milling flour and making bread
Savoury panettone non-panettone
Presenting the new families of Valdarnese chickens
Today we prune the vines at Casa Conforto and Casa Rossa
Today Stefania prepares “Panina” bread for Easter
Today we visit the youngest calf at La Vialla’s cowshed
Tuscan kale and ricotta balls with mayonnaise
Today we prune the olive trees at La Scampata after two years
Repairing the Fattoria’s roads after the winter rain
La Vialla has received the Alpahzirkel Award for Impact & Sustainability 2024
In the barn to welcome the newborn lambs
Today cannelloni with wild boar sauce
Today we make pecorino with pepper
Panettone filled and glazed with chocolate
La Vialla wins the German Sustainability Award
Today, Stufato alla Sangiovannese with Stefania
Today we produce the new oil
The World Future Council at La Vialla
Today Tuscan "crostoni" with pecorino, Peperonata Dolce and capocollo
Today at La Vialla’s winery
The Grape Festival in La Vialla’s piazzetta
The straw “bottaia” (= barrel cellar)
Today at La Vialla lasagna with Guazzabuglio and pecorino sauce
Checking the ripeness of the grapes in La Casotta vineyard
In La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch
At the Farmhouse Museum, Giancarlo’s memories of the wheat harvesting of old
Today Valdarnese Chicken with La Vialla’s Aubergine Caponata
With La Vialla’s shepherd Antonio and the sheep
Hoeing and taking care of the small, newly planted vines
Stefania prepares focaccia with cherry tomatoes
Monitoring the ripeness of the cereals with the agronomist Alceo
Summer concert 2022
Today at La Vialla’s chicken farm visiting the newly hatched chicks
Mini-Pasta Salad with Pasticcio di Olive
Today, green pruning in the Quattro Pietre and Casa Conforto vineyards
We greet the new technological roller for crushing green manure in the vineyards
Oven-baked rigatoni with asparagus and spicy salami
Spraying biodynamic preparation on the ancient cereals
45 years of La Vialla
Visiting the herd of cattle, with the first calves, at Spedale
Ricotta and artichoke ravioli with thyme-flavoured butter
Pruning the young olive trees at La Grillaia farmstead
Chocolate Easter egg filled with Viallella
Casal Duro Best of Show
Photos of the award ceremony with Antonio, Bandino, Sabina, Tommaso, Caterina, Piero and Lucio: La Vialla is Wine Family of the Year 2023
La Vialla is Wine Family of the Year 2023
Presentation Wine Family of the Year 2023
Today we inoculate the biodynamic compost heap with the preparations
Today in the kitchen, chocolate “brutti ma buoni” biscuits
Award Ceremony Mundus Vini Biofach 2023
Today Aida makes a savoury tart with ricotta, red pesto and spicy salami
An article in the blogazine Culture & Cream by journalist Margit Rüdiger about the world of La Vialla’s olive polyphenols
At Casa Conforto, pruning and renewing the vines
La Vialla in the new sustainability manifesto of Demeter International
Today at La Vialla’s sheep barn with the new-born lambs
Oven-baked emmer pasta with sausage and Tuscan kale
"2022 a La Vialla"
Aida prepares the meatloaf in a crust from the Christmas menu
Filtering the olive fruit or vegetation water for OliPhenolia
Christmas 2022, festive greetings from the “band” at La Vialla
Today, candied orange peel in chocolate
La Vialla as an actor for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030
Today at La Vialla, Erika prepares an autumn pasta recipe
Today in the olive mill at La Vialla, oil with chilli pepper
The olive harvest begins at La Vialla
Today at La Vialla baked aubergines with minced meat and Piccantissima
Mundus Vini Summer Tasting 2022
Selecting La Vialla’s autochthonous yeasts
The Grape Festival in the La Casotta vineyard
Photos of the Grape Festival 2022
Today we pick grapes in the Capannino vineyard
Today we prepare chicken salad with summer giardiniera with Balsamico Bianco
Today in La Vialla’s vegetable patch and workshop for the Sugo Bombolino
The Bee Whisperers from La Vialla, Meiningers Weinwelt Magazine cover story!
Ripening check and grapes estimate of Pinot Nero at Casa Rossa
Oven-cooked summer vegetables “all’arrabbiata”
In the Greppaccia vineyard renewing Sangiovese grapevines
Visiting the cows in the pastures high on the hillsides at Spedale farmstead
Concert in the piazzetta at La Vialla
Today omelette with wild fennel pesto and pecorino
Today in La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch we harvest basil
Hoeing and taking care of the new Grillaia vineyard
Pici with Carciofini Trifolati and Pesto Rosso
In Casa Conforto vineyard shredding and digging in the green manure crops
Composting biodynamic preparation “501” or “Horn Silica”
Award ceremony at Mundus Vini Spring Tasting @Prowein, Düsseldorf (Germany), May 15th 2022
Savoury Bread Pudding with Broccoli “Trifolati” and Pecorino
Tying up the canes in the Ronco vineyard
The straw “bottaia” (= barrel cellar), phase one
For the 8th time International Wine Producer of the Year at the Mundus Vini Biofach 2022
Maremma-style ricotta and spinach tortelli with butter and sage
Cleaning up the strawberry patch and replacing vines in the vineyard
Tasting the new red wine, Casa Quaranta
Pruning both young olive trees and adult ones
For International Women’s Day, ring cake with Vin Santo
Maintenance in the vineyard
Today at La Vialla, Arezzo-style “redone” cardoons
Today we’re at Casa Rossa for the winter pruning
Today in La Vialla’s sauce kitchen we make “pappa al pomodoro”
Today at La Vialla, hare in “dolceforte” sauce, an ancient Tuscan recipe
We taste the new oils from the main varieties of olives grown by La Vialla
We take a visit to La Vialla’s sheep barn
Today at La Vialla “Torta della Nonna”
Today at La Vialla’s olive mill, extra virgin olive oil with rosemary
Today in the winery, pressing the dried grapes for Vin Santo
Today, lasagne with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes
Today for lunch at La Vialla pork in apple sauce with raisins
Choosing the red grapes for the Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice
Photos of the Grape Festival 2021
The 2021 Grape Festival
We start working on the land to be sown
Today we’re working with the CREA research institute, to reduce copper in the vineyards
On the table today, bell pepper timballo filled with Penne with Peperotta
Harvesting in La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch
Today we are with Carlo for a mid-August check on La Vialla’s olive groves and vineyards
Today at La Vialla, Ricciole with Parmigianina
We visit the flock of sheep in the pastures at Casa Conforto
The wheat threshing festival through the eyes of photographer Roman Raacke
The wheat threshing festival
Today for lunch at La Vialla, bread gnocchi with anchovies and cherry tomatoes
In La Casotta vineyard with new environmentally friendly equipment
In the vegetable patch at La Vialla today we transplant parsley
In La Vialla di Sotto olive grove for the pre-flowering inspection
Today we visit La Casotta vineyard for the green pruning
Today at La Vialla Stefania prepares a savoury tart with pesto and ricotta
Today we visit La Vialla’s young Valdarno breed chickens
Mundus Vini Biofach 2021: Video of the award ceremony
Red carpet at the Fattoria - Mundus Vini Biofach 2021 award ceremony
Today at La Vialla, Carciofina croquettes for lunch
At Ca’ dell’Oro farmstead, renovating ancient terracing
The Chianti vineyard at Casa Conforto.
Today at La Vialla we make ricotta “gnudi” dressed with sage butter.
Today we’re making La Vialla’s typical pizza with pecorino
La Vialla's Easter eggs
Today at La Vialla’s Museum, some old farming tales from Giancarlo
“La Grillaia”, a new olive grove at La Vialla 3 years after planting
Today in La Vialla’s highest vineyard at Spedale farmstead
Today at La Vialla, Valentina’s seasonal oven baked rigatoni
Winter pruning in La Vialla’s strawberry patch
Today we’re in the olive grove at La Vialla to break up the ground
Today winter pruning in La Casotta vineyard at La Vialla
Today Erika prepares a savoury flan with Tuscan kale and new olive oil
"2020 at La Vialla"
Today at La Vialla Stefania prepares Giuliana’s sweet almond focaccia
In the olive mill at La Vialla with Andrea for a quality check
In the barn at La Vialla, the first newborn of the season
At La Vialla’s olive mill, making oil with basil
In the kitchen at La Vialla, wild boar stew with Sugo Finto
Today at La Vialla, picking olives at La Scampata farmstead
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles: October 1st 2020, the Viallini at the award ceremony in Rome
Today we pick Sangiovese grapes
Today at La Vialla Stefania prepares a savoury tart with peppers
Harvesting the Vernaccia di San Gimignano grapes at Castelvecchio
Today in Il Ronco vineyard we pick white Chardonnay grapes
Summer 2020 at La Vialla
Today on La Vialla’s table, Ricciole with grapes
Today in the workshop at La Vialla, “Piccantissima” sauce
In the vegetable garden at La Vialla, today we’re picking the aubergines
Today with Andrea in the olive grove at La Vialla, monitoring the trees’ health
Today at La Vialla Carmela prepares a recipe with Piccantissima sauce
Reducing copper in La Vialla’s biodynamic vineyards
Today at La Vialla we spray the “Horn Silica” biodynamic preparation
Lasagna with Basil Pesto and Pomarola
Today various tasks in La Vialla’s biodynamic vegetable patch
Reducing copper in La Vialla’s biodynamic vineyards – today with CREA
Today we use innovative equipment in La Vialla’s vineyard
Today at La Vialla, aubergine “accordions”
Today we make the horn silica biodynamic preparation or 501
Today for lunch for the Viallini, homemade gnocchi
Green pruning of the new shoots
Today we check the biodynamic compost heaps
Today at La Lignana we prepare stewed lamb in red wine
Today we build shelters to create shade
Today we are at Cortona in La Vialla’s Syrah vineyard
Savoury Tart with Ribollita and Tuscan Kale Crisps
Mundus Vini Biofach 2020: Video of the award ceremony
Mundus Vini Biofach 2020: February 13th 2020, the Viallini at the award ceremony in Nuremberg
Today we plant “aglione” in La Vialla’s vegetable patch
Today in La Vialla di Sopra olive grove doing winter tasks
Today, winter pruning on the terracing at Casa Rossa
Pasta Bake with Salsa Etrusca
Today at La Vialla, preparing and spraying biodynamic preparation '500'
Today at La Vialla, maintenance of the vineyard trellising
Vertical wine tasting of Casal Duro with expert Götz Drewitz
Today La Vialla’s Carabaccia with Vino Novo
At La Vialla’s barn and dairy during the holiday season
Zuccotto with Luigina
On the farm, Fattoria... La Vialla E-I-E-I-O
Alceo evaluates the ripeness of the olives for extra virgin olive oil
In the olive mill, calibrating the temperature while making oil
Graham Candy's La Vialla Music Writing Camp 2019 by Crazy Planet Records
Autumn at La Vialla 2019
The new families of Valdarnese chickens born during the summer
Today we make cannelloni with Tuscan ragu and hazelnuts
Today we choose Sangiovese for Vin Santo “Occhio di Pernice”
Today at La Vialla, peppers filled with pasta
A 'filmino' (= little film) of the wonderful afternoon and evening in the vineyard
Photos of the Grape Festival
Today at the museum, grape roll for dessert
Last harvest in the vegetable patch for bombolino sauce without skins
Today, August 29th, we harvest grapes
Checking the olive groves
In the vegetable patch, harvesting basil for the pesto
Today Aubergine Parmigiana reinterpreted by Luigina
Celebrating the Haystack
La Vialla Song & Music Writing Camp by Crazy Planet Records
10 Musicians at the Fattoria: Concert and Writing Camp October 2018
An anthem for La Vialla
Today Panzanella, a traditional all-in-one meal with what’s in the vegetable patch
Today in the vegetable patch we plant the last crop, the hot chilli peppers
Today we evaluate the young fruit in the vineyard and olive grove
Today we make timbale with zucchini and Rosalina
The vineyard at La Casotta, experimenting half the amount of copper
Today we plant vegetables in the field behind Casa Conforto
Green pruning at La Casotta farmstead
After six months the biodynamic preparation is dug up
Strawberry Mousse Cake
Award ceremony at the Grand International Wine Award @ProWein, Dusseldorf (Germany), March 17th 2019
At the Museum in the Landowner’s Room
In the dairy, from curds to drying-out
Today in the vineyard at Spedale using an innovative tying method
Today spring roulades with asparagus
Today in the olive grove two types of pruning for olive trees
In the barrique cellar the barrels are filled with 2018’s wines
Maintenance at Casale Farmstead
Nothing is thrown away in the kitchen - La Ribollita
At the Museum, in the grandparents bedroom
Mundus Vini Biofach 2019: Video of the award ceremony
The Viallini at the Mundus Vini Biofach 2019 Producer of the Year International and Best Sweet Wine
Soil assessment with the Spade test
Two kinds of pruning at Casa Conforto
Today Strozzapreti with Tuscan Kale Pesto
What’s on the menu today at La Lignana?
Hamburg Climate Week 2018-Speech by Gianni and Antonio Lo Franco
Summer 2018 at the Fattoria
A surprise for Marco, the oenologist: the 100/100 score awarded by the panel chair judge at the IWSC 2018
Celebrations for "40 years of La Vialla" at the Fattoria
The grand table celebrating 40 years of La Vialla, 1978-2018
Spring greetings from the Fattoria
Award ceremony for "Producer of the Year 2018" at the Mundus Vini Biofach, Nuremberg
La Vialla's Christmas Menu
The Vino Nuovo and Olio Novo have arrived!
Recipe: La Vialla’s biscuit house made of Cantucci bricks and Stracci tiles
Video: In the bakery, Francesco prepares the Viallina Biscuit House
IWSC London 2017: slide show of the award ceremony
IWSC London 2017: Video of the award ceremony
B.A.U.M. Environmental Award 2017: video of the ceremony and laudation
B.A.U.M. Environmental Award 2017, Frankfurt
Autumn has arrived at the Fattoria
Francesco prepares the Easter dove-shaped cake
Primavera at the Fattoria
Mundus Vini Biofach 2017: The Viallini at the Award Ceremony
Small photo album 2016: Moments from a year at the Fattoria
"Slightly" out tune but from the heart ...Merry Christmas from the whole "Banda" of La Vialla
The Panettone à la Francesco
Fattoria La Vialla is "Italian Wine Producer of the Year 2016" at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, London
Official video of the IWSC awards banquet, November 16th, 2016, London
A great celebration in the vineyard at La Casotta farmstead
End of October: harvest and lunch with friends in the Ca' dell'Oro alive grove!
September 28th 2016: La Vialla in the Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg
May in the strawberry patch: harvest and happy hour with the guests
Mundus Vini Biofach 2016: The Viallini at the Award Ceremony (video by Felicitas Umlauf)
Vin Santo: from grapes to Grand Gold at the Mundus Vini Biofach 2016
Francesco's chocolate salami
A star in the sky at La Vialla Grape Festival 2015 (Video by Felicitas Umlauf)
A "little-big" keepsake of the concert held on July 8th 2015
News from the Fattoria
Holidays at La Vialla
La Vialla and nature
Request Catalogue
Privacy Policy
Recipe archive
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Panorama of Fattoria La Vialla in spring
Panorama of Fattoria La Vialla in spring


The famous French oenologist Jacques Puisais used to say that: “Every wine is a reflection of a place. It is begotten by the soil and the air as well as man. It gives enduring fame to the life of the place and its rhythm”. These words are as close as you can get to the spirit of biodynamic agriculture and the path undertaken by the Lo Franco family, for over 40 years, with Fattoria La Vialla, their family-run farm and wine estate. A long, difficult process of conservative restoration of ancient farmsteads, which were once independent (in Tuscany “Fattoria” means a farm, wine and olive estate), has brought back to life vineyards that are often found on inaccessible ground but have great potential.

Ca’ dell’Oro, the Lo Franco family at the table
Ca’ dell’Oro, the Lo Franco family at the table

In years of planting vines, the choice of clones, of planting systems, of materials and compost have been tailored, dividing the new vineyards into small plots in order to pay greatest attention to the smallest details and nuances of the soil and microclimate.

Ripe bunches of Sangiovese
Ripe bunches of Sangiovese

Most of the vineyards, tended to by the “Viallini” (as our staff are affectionately called), are in Tuscany, in the Chianti hills near to Arezzo, between 300 and 600 meters a.s.l. A few others – such as Vernaccia, Vermentino and Montecucco – are outside the province; new land converted to biodynamic agriculture after years of work, tended to weekly by the Fattoria’s “flying squad”. The wines are refined and elegant, with a genuine artisan character. Each one is a limited production, the result of the season, of its soil, of good agricultural practices, of autochthonous yeasts and of maximum respect in the winery. They embody the terroir and the talent of a group of people (the Viallini!) who have dedicated the best years of their lives, and the best of their technical ability, to the land.

Casa Conforto vineyard
Casa Conforto vineyard

The growing methods and vinification follow the rules of certified organic and biodynamic agriculture (Euro-Leaf and Demeter certification). The wines’ entire production cycle is certified “carbon neutral” by NatureOffice. It’s an example of circular economy: production waste is composted together with animal manure and then returned to the soil, to give it new life and organic matter.

Fattoria La Vialla has won numerous, coveted special prizes for “best wine” and “producer of the year”, in the major European competitions (Decanter, IWSC, Berlin Wine Trophy, Mundus Vini Biofach). In 2019, incredible but true, we were named organic winery of the year 3 times. The wines are in any case good value because their price is calculated on the basis of the costs for production and ageing, without any market speculation, and also because they can only be bought directly from La Vialla, therefore there a no distributors or middlemen. In this way the quality is excellent and the price moderate.

diplomas 2019

Below you will find useful information, not only to help understand the wines themselves but also what lies behind them, the sustainable world of this pioneering Tuscan farm. To help with the choice of La Vialla’s wines, we have grouped them according to the various types, using the classic categories “Red”, “Rosé”, “White”, “Sparkling”, “Méthode Traditionnelle”, “Dessert” and “Rarities”. The sparkling wines stand out for their freshness and fruity aromas; this wine category also includes Prosecco (name that in actual fact was once given to the grapes used to make the wine of the same name).

Click here or in the main menu to access the categories and subsequently the individual wines – with photos, descriptions, labels, wine and food pairings.

The soil in the vineyards

180 hectares of vineyards, producing wines with Chianti D.O.C.G. (controlled and guaranteed designation of origin) and I.G.T. (typical geographical indication) denominations, and other “table wines” (or, more significantly, “Super Tuscans”), sitting on the slopes of the Pratomagno mountains, in the centre of the Colli Aretini Chianti area. Situated between 300 and 650 metres a.s.l., the soil is made up of “Galestro”, sandstone and clay together with Alberese limestone and sand, all materials that are easily eroded and give the landscape its characteristic undulating outline. More recently other Tuscan vineyards have been, adventurously, added to the Fattoria’s territory: in the Montecucco area in the Maremma, in the Vernaccia area at San Gimignano, in the Chianti area near Siena. And also a few small ones in other regions. All the new land has been meticulously converted, first to organic agriculture and then to biodynamics; some is still “under conversion”. Thanks to this important work of conversion, and the attention paid to creating a carbon neutral and closed-cycle production process, Fattoria La Vialla has received much recognition, amongst which – in Germany – the coveted B.A.U.M. award for environmental sustainability.

La Vialla’s fertile soil
La Vialla’s fertile soil

La Vialla’s land is extremely diversified, including woodlands, hillsides and level ground, with varying types of soil. Over the years, the geology and quality of these soils has been studied by agronomist Alceo Orsini and by the oenologists, Umberto Trombelli, Giorgio Marone and Marco Cervellera, making it possible to select and plant the most suitable autochthonous and international varieties of grapevines for each plot of land, enhancing the properties of the grapes and of the organic wines produced.

The agronomist and oenologists in the vineyard
The agronomist and oenologists in the vineyard

The terroir

These undulating hills enjoy good light, excellent ventilation and natural rainwater drainage. The temperate climate in the area, with its good variations in temperature between day and night, also creates ideal conditions for grapes. The scenery is typical of the Chianti area, and of the nearby Chianti Classico, where the alternation of woodland, hills, cultivated land, streams, rivers and ancient eighteenth century farmhouses, creates a unique landscape – nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – still worthy of the famous painting “Good Government” by Lorenzetti, symbol of Tuscan Renaissance “illumination”.

La Casotta Farmstead (493 m.a.s.l.)
La Casotta Farmstead (493 m.a.s.l.)

Prevailing southern exposure, recovery of ancient terracing, preservation of biodiversity, care of the land using biodynamic methods, improvement of soil fertility, use of autochthonous yeasts, circular, closed-cycle production systems (waste and manure are composted and reused as a natural fertilizer), biodynamic winemaking and ageing with low amounts of sulphites in the wine – these are all distinctive elements that characterise the quality of the wine produced (and the awards won

Each grapevine has its vineyard, each root its soil, each grape its own yeasts, each wine reflects the terroir from which it originates. The characteristics that all of Fattoria La Vialla’s wines have in common are genuineness, craftsmanship, typicality, elegance and authenticity.

Terracing in Casa Rossa vineyard
Terracing in Casa Rossa vineyard

Biodiversity and biodynamic viticulture

The aim of biodynamic grape growing is to improve soil quality, increasing, year after year, the organic matter in the ground, the capacity to exchange useful elements and to consolidate the quantity of humus, the more stable, useful, colloidal part of the soil. Life in the soil must also be improved and diversified. The multiplicity of the original farmsteads has given the Fattoria a precious patrimony of biodiversity. Crops, plants and landscapes have been cared for and improved. Ancient grapevine clones have been recovered and many new ones have been planted year after year: various autochthonous clones of Sangiovese (Chianti grape variety) suited to each different terroir, Sangiovese Grosso, Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nera, Pugnitello, Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Malvasia Bianca, Vernaccia, Vermentino and Verdicchio, alongside international grapes such as Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Petit Verdot.

Preparing horn manure
Preparing horn manure
Selection of ancient grape varieties
Selection of ancient grape varieties

The creation of a great biodynamic wine requires ability, experience and, a great deal of time. For example, looking back over the path of our Tuscan red I.G.T. “Casal Duro”, we return to the year 2000 when – after re-establishing the terracing of an ancient vegetable patch – in April, according to the propitious lunar calendar, we planted 6 hectares of vineyard (with Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot) on that steep, dark, mineral ground. Then we had to wait 4 years before we could use the first grapes to make wine. Followed by another 3 long years, to give biodynamics time to bring balance to the soil, create capillary branching of roots, make the plants strong and resilient, and, as a natural consequence, the grapes mature. Finally, after 7 years, we were able to carry out the harvest for this biodynamic wine – which rests in wooden barrels for 2 years and then another year in the bottle.

Casalduro vineyard
Casalduro vineyard

Differences in the vineyard between conventional, organic and biodynamic agriculture and how things are done at La Vialla

Fattoria La Vialla uses certified and controlled organic and biodynamic methods to cultivate its vineyards. Organic viticulture prohibits the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, as well as limiting and regulating the use of copper. It encourages natural soil fertility through 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). In general, organic agriculture requires ample space in stables 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.

Alceo inspects the green manure and soil
Alceo inspects the green manure and soil

Biodynamic viticulture 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 live in a harmonious, closed cycle – from cultivation, to production, to recycling waste through composting.

Horn silica – a biodynamic preparation
Horn silica – a biodynamic preparation

This circular system also foresees the use of Biodynamic Preparations, concentrates of mature compost (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. It’s a method that requires meticulous organisation and prompt intervention.

The biodynamic compost heap
The biodynamic compost heap

Therefore, over the years, La Vialla has equipped itself with all the necessary apparatus and efficient technology; 8 “dynamising areas”, in order to be able to spray biodynamic preparations everywhere at the same time, at the right moment and according to the lunar calendar. This practice has guided biodynamics since it began, allowing farmers to make the most of the development of each part of every plant, when it’s at the height of its vigour. In addition, compared to organic agriculture, it imposes a number of even stricter limits regarding the substances that can be used, such as copper and sulphur (7 kg of copper per hectare per year for organic rules, 4 kg in biodynamic viticulture). 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.

Nuri during the grape harvest
Nuri during the grape harvest

Besides these two levels of guarantee and certification –
there is also the quality of La Vialla’s winemaking (in collaboration with the “Fondazione Famiglia Lo Franco” for the conversion to organic and biodynamic agriculture). It consists in a series of cutting-edge activities and verification, which are the result of years of research in collaboration with the universities of Florence, Pisa and Siena, regarding various critical points

from the reduction of sulphites and copper in winemaking, to the use of a special “recipe” for compost, analyses carried out on each plot of land and each batch produced, annual verification of organic matter and other soil fertility parameters, intensification of pollination with groups of beehives placed in strategic locations, use of fertilizer made with olive fruit water and macerated olive leaves, not filtering the wines, and the choice of autochthonous yeasts.

In the vineyard with university specialists
In the vineyard with university specialists
Bees – invaluable helpers in the vineyard

How wine is made at Fattoria La Vialla – harvesting, vinification, ageing and bottling the wine

It takes roughly 1.5 kg of grapes to make one litre of wine. A normal 750 ml bottle contains, on average, 1.1 kg of grapes (between 4 and 7 bunches, depending on the type and weight). A vineyard begins to produce in its third year, but it only reaches maturity after 5 to 7 years. In September each year, after 12 months of diligent care, the grape harvest finally arrives. It traditionally begins on favourable days of the lunar calendar, after each vineyard has been carefully inspected and analysis of the sugar content, acidity and polyphenols in the grapes are carried out, beginning with early ripening varieties, such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Malvasia Bianca, Vermentino and Pinot Nero.

Close collaboration between the agronomist and the oenologist is fundamental for daily planning. It’s a question of organisational symbiosis; the objective is to respect the needs of each individual grape, enhancing its aromatic characteristics. At La Vialla, Alceo and Marco (respectively the agronomist and oenologist) are friends, and both “veterans”. Their harmonious alliance is beneficial for the entire team, and it’s fundamental. Experience, the good work done in the vineyards during the previous months, the choice of grapes and the season’s weather conditions do most of the rest. However, timing and ability in the winery are also important. Improvements introduced in many years of work, today make it possible for us to select, harvest and press the grapes within a few hours, without a pause, in order to optimise the delicate initial phase of winemaking.
The juice that spurts out of each grape begins to ferment immediately, as soon as it comes into contact with the air, thanks to the action of invisible allies, the yeasts. They’re fungi that live in the vineyard, on the grapes and in the winery, and are responsible for triggering the natural, primitive (and fascinating) process – in many respects uncontrollable – of fermentation. The spontaneity of fermentation heightens the quality of each biodynamic wine. Some grape musts, such as the structured reds, macerate at length (up to approximately 3 weeks) with their skins, in order to acquire as much colour and dry extract as possible; they will be aged in large wooden barrels and Barriques. Others, to be drunk young, are devatted after 7-10 days. For the red wines filtering is reduced to a minimum, and the more structured ones remain unfiltered so that during the long period of ageing they benefit from the antioxidant action of the suspended yeasts and phenolic compounds. The low level of sulphites in the wines is thanks to this expedient. The rosé wines only ferment with the grape skins for a few hours. The white grape musts, on the other hand, are separated from the skins immediately; the subsequent, final, clarification phase is carried out according to the rules of organic and biodynamic winemaking, without any chemical agents.

Agronomist Alceo Orsini, with Gianni and Antonio
Agronomist Alceo Orsini, with Gianni and Antonio
The oenologist, Marco Cervellera
The oenologist, Marco Cervellera

The process is complex for the sparkling wines too – La Vialla produces Charmat Method wines, both filtered and unfiltered, “Metodo Ancestrale” (Ancestral Method) wines and Metodo Classico wines (also known as Méthode Traditionnelle or Champenoise), which are aged between 12 and 120 months on their lees. For the red wines, especially the most important ones, the ageing process is of fundamental importance. In 2013 we built a new “Barriccaia” (= Barrique cellar) at La Vialla, semi-underground and using green building techniques, precisely with the aim of improving the quality of the ageing period in wood. The wines are aged in selected wood; in large Slavonian oak casks containing 15-25 hl, typically used for Chianti, and in Barriques, small oak barrels containing 225 litres with an elegant, spicy toasting, used for the Riserva “Tuscan I.G.T.” wines and Super Tuscans.

The barrique cellar at La Vialla
The barrique cellar at La Vialla

The wines are bottled after their ageing period and subsequent to being tasted by the oenologist. The reds, and some of the whites and sparkling wines, are bottled without filtering in order to preserve their antioxidant content so they can age for long periods and, in particular for the white wines, to enhance the bouquet. The corks are chosen from among the best suppliers, on the basis of their airtight seal and ecological footprint, and are made of natural cork from certified producers and responsibly managed forests. The size and type is chosen according the how the wine is aged in the bottle. The choice of bottles – the majority of which are light Bordeaux bottles, weighing 450 g, in recycled and recyclable glass – is made with a view to maximum sustainability.

Checking the Barriccato Bianco
Checking the Barriccato Bianco

Definitions and differences: organic wine, biodynamic wine and “La Vialla quality”

Organic wine is known for its wholesomeness: all the synthetic chemical substances used in conventional winemaking are prohibited, and the limits set for the amount of sulphites in the wine are much lower; while a conventionally produced red may reach as much as 150 mg/l, an organic one must not exceed 100 mg/l. A series of detailed rules regulate organic winemaking; later on we will take a look at the main ones.
Biodynamic wine is distinguished by the almost total absence of so-called “additions” and “winery adjustments” that, on the contrary, are so frequently used and abused in conventional wine; for the natural selection of autochthonous yeasts, for an even lower sulphite content than that found in organic wines. For example the limit set for a biodynamic red is 70 mg/l, while a conventional wine can contain as much as 150 mg/l; for biodynamic white wines the limit is 90 mg/l, while for their conventional counterparts it is as high as 200 mg/l, and 250 mg/l for dessert wines... enough to give you a headache!
“La Vialla quality”. Thanks to years of research and expertise, the sulphite content in our wines is even lower than the biodynamic limits: on average 65 mg/l for the reds, 75 mg/l for the whites, 78 mg/l for the sparkling wines, and 72 mg/l for the dessert wines. A summary of the analyses regarding the sulphites in our wines is published annually in the Handbook about our products and on the website. In the vineyards, years of tests and experiments have also made it possible to reduce the quantity of copper used to below biodynamic limits (approximately 4 kg per hectare, opposed to 7 kg in organic wine growing and no limit in conventional agriculture). Other studies, in collaboration with various Italian universities, have given excellent results regarding the recovery of autochthonous biodiversity and techniques for preserving unfiltered wines, with low sulphite levels, in the bottle.

The various types of wine produced by Fattoria La Vialla

La Vialla’s wines are mostly Tuscan, the majority come from the “Chianti Colli Aretini” area, but there are also some from other provinces of Tuscany and other regions, which are the fruit of fortunate encounters. They can be divided into young and aged wines. They’re all excellent quality thanks to the selection of grapes, vinification methods and ageing. Each wine reflects the grape varieties with which it is made and the soil of its vineyard, in a word – its typicality. They are all fine wines, for the most part intended for food and wine pairings with typical traditional recipes.

A selection of Fattoria La Vialla’s red wines
A selection of Fattoria La Vialla’s red wines

Some – such as Podere “La Casotta”, Casalduro and Barriccato ¬– can also be defined as “meditation wines”, because they are excellent drunk alone, in a large “balloon” glass. Small quantities of wines that have shown particular “character” in some vintages, a few hundred bottles, are set aside in the wine cellar and put back on sale after a few years, for a few lucky enthusiasts. These wines are Viallino “rarities”. (In the description of each wine you will find food pairing suggestions. And in the “Recipes” section of the website you can find the best combinations and useful curiosities.) Some of the wines – both red and white – despite their actual “dry” or “sweet” classification, are not completely dry: both still wines (NubeRosa, il Birborosso, Podere La Casotta, Casalduro) and sparkling ones (Mussantino, Mussantino Selvatico, Le Chiassaie). Besides these, there are the “unfiltereds”, which are special thanks to the fact that they’re “whole” and give a particular, harmonious sensation between freshness, softness and sapidity, even though their residual sugar content is practically inexistent. Some of the sweet dessert wines are sparkling, such as MostoVino (7 % vol.) and Zanzarato, made with Muscat grapes; the others – Vin Santo and Passito – are still.
All the wines come with a label in the box, which gives information about the analytical values of each wine: grape blend, polyphenols, acidity, natural residual sugars, sulphite content, particular characteristics.

Barriccato Bianco – a modern unfiltered wine
Barriccato Bianco – a modern unfiltered wine
Some of the award-winning wines
Some of the award-winning wines

La Vialla’s wines and Tuscan food

Wine and food pairing is a task that requires knowledge and experience. As complex as it is stimulating. It offers interesting, often intriguing, ideas. Experts on etiquette and sommeliers worldwide agree that the basic rule for food and wine pairing is to accompany a typical recipe with a local wine. Even without knowing everything about good manners, no one at the Fattoria would dream of doing otherwise! Most of the wines are typical of the Chianti area. The grape variety that rules our land is Sangiovese, which stands out amongst reds for its structure, acidity, phenolic content, tannins and anthocyanins; these qualities permit Chianti to age patiently and have a long lifespan. In fact young Chianti, especially in cool years, can be slightly hard. It’s better to drink it during a meal, accompanied by dishes that go well with it.

A young Chianti – aged 15 to 20 months – is ideal with a “Fiorentina” T-bone steak, “Tagliata” with rosemary, Pappardelle with meat ragu, roast lamb; succulent dishes, with intense flavours, which pair well with such wines because they contrast their freshness and tannicity. Chianti Riserva, or one of the Fattoria’s “Super Tuscans” – softer and more mature – pairs well with “Peposo alla Valdarnese” (a peppery stew made in the Valdarno area) and stewed wild boar, but also aged Pecorino Gran Riserva sheep’s milk cheese.

table with food and wines

The Rosé, or a red wine with a hint of sweetness, to be drunk young and slightly chilled, such as il Birborosso, goes perfectly with “Cacciucco” (either the traditional recipe with fish or the version made with chickpeas) and with Ribollita. These wines – which are more structured and mature – are also known as “meditation wines” and can be sipped slowly, from large “balloon” glasses, even without being accompanied by food. The house whites, fresh and delicate, go with traditional Tuscan first courses, from spaghetti with tomato and basil, to spelt soup and “Pappa al Pomodoro”. Then, according to your culinary flair, it’s also fun to experiment and try new combinations. Always bearing in mind another good basic rule, according to which there should be an overall balance between wine and food; more often than not it is found by contrasting sensations, but sometimes, as with desserts, by similarity.

Note regarding allergies and dietary choices

All the wines are certified vegan and gluten free, and are labelled with the relative symbol.