“For the new vineyard we recycled the irrigation system we had purchased in Rieti. We did the same with most of the equipment we needed – explains Filippo – Two years ago we had a very large vegetable garden, and Giulia prepared vacuum-sealed ready-made vegetable soups that we sold together with fresh vegetables. We have now converted that area into an artichoke garden, a culture that perfectly complements the vineyard, as its production cycle starts in October, while the harvest takes place in spring”. The artichoke garden in Colle Jano extends over 3,200 square metres. There are 300 plants now; at the beginning there were 170. In this whole area Carciofo violetto di Jesi (Ancona), is grown, an artichoke variety which is sold at €1 apiece.

Besides the vineyard and the artichoke garden, in Colle Jano we also grow officinal herbs, lavender, thyme, and rosemary. The essential oils extracted from these herbs and plants are not sold, but used in the vineyard as natural phytodrugs. “This enables me to reduce the use of copper and also cuts the vineyard management costs, which amount to approximately €600 per hectare. I am saving 25 per cent compared to the average costs of organic farming. My goal, however, is not only a financial one: I am aiming at obtaining vintages with zero residues of phytodrugs in the grapes” explains Resente also adding: “My dream, now, is to build a winery. To me, having a farm is just great”. Just like his vineyards, Filippo too has deepened his roots in Cupramontana’s sandy, loamy, clayey soil.

Natural phytodrugs

“I consider our farm an advanced organic farm” says Resente, describing the method applied in Colle Jano to take care of the vineyards and of the other cultures. In the vineyards, in particular, lavender, thyme, and rosemary essential oils are used. “Thyme, for instance, combined with copper and sulphur, has an antiparasite action during the sporulation of downy mildew (a fungus, Author’s Note), when parasite attacks are stronger” explains the wine grower. As the season advances, attacks weaken, and the use of essential oils allows to significantly reduce the use of copper. Propolis, obtained from the bees kept at the farm, is used too, dissolved in water and alcohol. The combination of hydroalcoholic Propolis and the oils has both an antibiotic and a binding effect. “This – explains Resente – makes it possible to further reduce the use of copper, up to one fifth of the maximum amount specified by the regulations”.

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