Our family planted its first vines in Maremma in 1851, when it purchased land parcel no. 1 in the Maremma development programme launch by the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1894, Emilio Bicocchi built a cellar with a capacity of 5,000 hectolitres, embedded in a hill, and organised vertically on three levels, applying construction criteria that were extremely futuristic for the time. About 100 years later, the family purchased the Padule di Moreta estate with its seed crops, vineyards and olive groves, occupying a total area of 110 ha. The estate, which is now owned by Carlo Lodovico Bicocchi, has antique origins, dating back to the 14th century. Twenty years ago, Carlo Lodovico, after extensive experience in international management, returned to his roots and decided to develop the winegrowing segment of the estate, basing the activity of traditional methods.
The aim of our work in the vineyards is to support and protect each of the 85,000 vines present. We start the new year with winter pruning, by hand, and then, during the evolution of the vine development cycle, we use different tools to defend it from disease and to allow its root system to work properly. We devote a lot of time to observation, to obtain maximum efficiency from every operation that becomes necessary, minimising their number. Every land parcel into which the vineyard is divided is independent in terms of soil characteristics and grape variety. This way of operating requires a lot of hard work, which continues in the cellar to benefit from the high quality of the grapes. Vinification is based on our traditional knowledge, together with the use of modern tools that allow us to work safely and cleanly (pneumatic press for the grapes, temperature controlled fermentation, peristaltic pumps for racking the must and wines, etc.). All the grape varieties are vinified separately and the fermentation of every tank is monitored individually, without pre-determined protocols. Bottling and labelling are also carried out on the estate. The complete tracking of each bottle sold enables us to determine the whole production process, right from the grapes of origin.
I've always heard people say that making a good wine is the result of lots of long and very hard work. An old saying says that it takes 100 hours of school to learn how to make a good wine, but you can only attend one a year. It's all true: the production process, which begins with the planting of a vine and continues through to the wine in the bottle, is long and influenced by a huge number of variables. To learn about the process, we have three essential tools: the observation of nature, reflection and experience. Observation gathers the facts; reflection combines them; experience checks the result of the combination. The observation of nature has to be continuous, accompanied by deep reflection and precise, effective experience. Putting this method into practice requires constant concentration and this means constant intellectual commitment, which is rather hard throughout the year. Every vintage has different characteristics from its predecessors. Our estate is in an area where there has been little intervention by man and we run our business with a view to being an active element with respect for biodiversity and contributing to its improvement. We could say that we are guided by the vines and all the life that exists in a vineyard. The only important condition that we set for the vines is winter pruning, when we decide how many buds are going to develop in spring. Then all we do is tie up the shoots as they develop, eliminating old leaves and treating the plants to protect them from fungal diseases (downy and powdery mildew). We second the natural mechanisms of the plant's activity, and respect the dynamic relationship that exists with the natural environment and the organisms that inhabit it.