Sustainability, Sangiovese and Salcheto

Posted June 27, 2016

Stacy Brody


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The first thing I noticed about Salcheto’s wines were the labels. I may work in the industry, but I’m still a sucker for a well-designed label.


We are visual creatures.


Salcheto’s labels are simple and deliberate. There’s a willow tree, with roots shaped like a hand. The line representing the surface of the ground extends around the bottle to a set of hands. Everything is simply drawn and clearly symbolic.


Later, I’d ask our speaker about these labels.


The next thing I noticed was how light the bottles are.


Ron gave me explanations to these and other quandaries about Salcheto and the wines when he came for a June installment of Wine Talk Wednesday.


Ron's family is one of the three owners behind Salcheto. The three share a few common interests. 1) Wine - this is highly important if you are about to engage in an expensive business proposition to produce wine. 2) Italy - Ron is not Italian by birth but enjoys Italian wine and food (who doesn’t), speaks Italian (as does his daughter) and has the talking with your hands thing down pat. 3) Sustainability - what they’ve done to address this third point is mindblowing.


And it’s that third point that really came to the fore in Ron’s talk. I knew Salcheto prides itself on their sustainability initiatives. I had read that they won the Sustainable Winery of the Year award from Gambero Rosso in 2014.


I was still absolutely blown away by the steps they have taken to mitigate their environmental impact. Their efforts go beyond slapping up some solar panels. In the cellar and in the vineyard, they have made amazing strides to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce their footprint on the earth as much as possible.


Yes, they farm organically. They compost and also use their vine cuttings for fuel.


But it goes way, way beyond that.


As evidenced by the light bottles. Making glass bottles is a highly energy-intensive process, even more polluting than the shipping of said bottles. By using lighter bottles, Salcheto reduces the emissions of both production and transport. Plus, you are able to more comfortably carry the case of wine you just purchased rather than struggle to get it to your car.


At our Wine Talk Wednesday, I had the pleasure of pouring - from eco-friendly bottles - Salcheto’s Obvius Rosato, Obvius Rosso and their flagship Nobile di Montepulciano.


Their 'Obvius' wines are made with indigenous yeasts and no additional sulfites. They use modern technology in the cellar, such as carbon capture and airtight steel tanks, to allow them to go back to the roots of natural winemaking.


Their Rosato offers the gutsiness I love in Italian rose wines, cherries and ripe strawberries, really juicy and fresh. What I really enjoyed about this wine was its saline quality, so interesting and delightful. Really an intriguing note and one I would love alongside seafood...or the ocean. Now you know what I’ll be enjoying poolside!


The Rosso is classic Sangiovese, red cherries all the way. Freshly styled, fermented and aged in stainless steel, this wine is, according to the winery an “all fruit experience.” And super versatile. The tannins are soft, the acidity bright and the flavors fresh. You could do the classic Italian thing, like pizza or pasta, or anything else at all, even barbecue!


We finished with the flagship Vino Nobile di Montepulciano - which we were told is phenomenal with wild boar. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we have fewer wild boars roaming New Jersey than they have in Tuscany. The Vino Nobile is traditionally made, fermented and aged in wood vats. (Please note, the winemaking team adds a small amount of sulfites to stabilize the wine as wood vats allow for oxygen exposure during aging.) This wine, quite frankly, is a steal. It’s around $20 a bottle and has three rave reviews….plus the approval of our Wine Talk Wednesday guests!


While cleaning up, I asked Ron about the imagery on the labels. The tree. The hands. All that.


It comes down to being connected to the earth, working the earth and giving back to it. The tree’s roots are a hand. The line delineating the ground’s surface becomes a pair of hands. We are all intertwined.


Item: 94593

750 mL

Retail: $19.99

$15.98 per btl

Item: 94748

750 mL

Retail: $18.99

$13.87 per btl

Product Label.

Salcheto Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano

92 Antonio Galloni - Vinous

Item: 95611

750 mL

Retail: $27.99

$20.98 per btl