Last Saturday the graphic design Italy group took a day trip to Tuscana, Italia, which included a tour of the Salcheto vineyard and wine cellars. Salcheto is extremely unique in the way they produce wine and manage their vineyard and facility. Salcheto strives to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible and are carbon free. Their carbon footprint is so small it is almost invisible! All their grapes are hand picked in three rounds throughout the season. On the top of the building there are these dome alien-craft looking objects that catch sunlight but also double as a way to transport the grapes from the vineyard to the first stage of processing. The dome-shaped objects catch and carry sunlight from the roof of the building all the way to the bottom most level of the cellars. The domes also lift out of the roof and act as a tunnel for the grapes to go into their first fermentation vats where they are skinned.
The vats all use solar power (absorbed by the domes), and also hold all the CO2 in the bottom of the tank that would be emitted, but is later on used in the fermentation process.
Salcheto’s wooden vats are also extremely sustainable. These vats are the second step in the fermentation process. The length of time that the grapes sit in these vats depends on which wine they will be used for.
In the center of all the cellars there is a large hole that encompasses eight tubes, which are the central eight domes on the top of the building, capturing the most sunlight.
After touring the vineyard and cellars, we were invited to a wine tasting and lunch where we tasted three different wines. What I would like to point out about the event of the tasting was the company’s sustainability even then. The first thing I noticed when sitting down was what I was sitting on. The benches and tables we sat at were wooden masterpieces. Also, the place settings were recycled placemats and napkins. But those are small things compared to the last one I noticed … the cups. The cups were recycled wine bottles, cut down and smoothed out so that it created a regular glass cup. These were made with bottles that had imperfections in them. So awesome, I wish I could have taken one with me!