It’s not like we need yet another reason to love Chiara Boschis, but CannuBio definitely makes the list! And what is CannuBio you might ask? Well, it’s one of the many projects Chiara is currently working on.
Chiara Boschis has always worked in a sustainable and organic way, but in 2010, she decided to get the organic certification. She thinks it’s “very important to push on this and let people know. And to start to change the mind of the people.” One of the reasons why it’s important for Chiara to try and convince others to farm organically, is because her plants can be affected by her neighbors actions. So even if she farms organically, if one of her neighbors use chemicals, some of it might transfer over to her plants. This is a problem in any vineyard, including Cannubi, where the parcels are quite small. So she decided to start a project: CannuBio.
In Cannubi, there are 26 different owners. And Chiara, accompanied by what she calls the “guru of the organic farming”, went around to all the different owners and tried to convince the ones who weren’t already doing so, to start farming organically. One by one they agreed, and today 23 have joined the CannuBio project.
“I had nothing to lose. Even if it seems a crazy project, you know, the classical mission impossible, I really wanted hard to try to convince the other people.”Chiara Boschis
One of the winemakers farming in Cannubi, is Fabio Alessandria from Burlotto. He sees first hand how important this project is, acknowledging that “when all the vineyard is treated like this, the benefit are much bigger than a single winemaker working this way”. And the benefits aren’t just limited to this one vineyard. In addition, he says that this project “motivated (them) to work more and more in this way”.
What does it all mean?
One of the main aspects of organic farming, is to avoid using chemicals. But for Chiara, it’s about so much more. Of course, not using chemicals is incredibly important, but “it’s really an holistic approach that means to care about every aspect of the agriculture and the winemaking. Not using chemicals is number 1 but you need to create the right environment which means of course to take care of the fauna and the birds, the insect, organize the soil, to have cover crop, flowers in the vineyard, manage the canopy.”
Let’s take it one step further, from organic farming to sustainable winemaking. As Carlotta Rinaldi says, “it’s a wider conversation, than just saying organic or biodynamic, using chemicals or not using chemicals.” It’s the whole picture. She goes on: “It doesn’t just cover treatments, it covers the amount of time of passages of the tractor in the vineyard for example.”
What motivates them to farm organically?
Another winemaker who farms organically is Nadia Curto. And when asked what motivates her to farm organically, Nadia had the best answer: “One more philanthropic reason, for we would like to offer to the customer wine that are healthy, that don’t give problem to the stomach. to the head, etc. But also for an ego reason because we are in the front line in the field, and so when we use chemicals we breathe these chemicals and we stay really in between that situation and so also for myself, and for the child, for my dog, because the little dog runs every day in the field, and so it’s very important to also protect this situation, for try to stay better.”
I think this is so important to keep in mind: they are on the front lines. They are in the field. They spend a lot of time in the vineyard. Of course they don’t want to be surrounded by chemicals. I bet you don’t either. I mean, we are so concerned with avoiding chemicals in the other aspects of our lives. Why shouldn’t this be extended to the wine we consume? And, for many of you, it probably already does. But I bet there are a lot of people who buy organic spinach, free range eggs, or BPA free water bottles, yet they drink wine that was made using chemicals.
So that was the “egoistic” and ethical reason behind organic farming. But Nadia also says that “the wine is better”. Why? “The wine without chemicals is something different. Every time is something unique. The character is special. When you drink a natural wine the heart become big, the joy arrive, its something different because give the life” she adds.
The future of CannuBio
Chiara’s goal is to reach 100% participation rate of the project in Cannubi, but it’s easier said than done. One of the hopes was that this idea would spread to other vineyards like Brunate. But Carlotta says that so far, “the response was a bit difficult.” However, even if it seems like a “mission impossible”, no one is giving up. And the CannuBio project had other positive “side effects” like the birth of the Green Experience. What started as a passion project in Cannubi, evolved into something bigger. And it’s definitely not the end.
So, let’s keep talking about it. Let’s do our part. And let’s support those who farm organic, so that they can do their part.