MEET Franco Giandomenico
Chiusa Grande and its 60 hectares of vines is located in Nocciano (Pescara) in the heart of Abruzzo. Surrounded by the Gran Sasso and Majella Mountains, the organic farm was founded in 1991 by the agronomist Franco D’Eusanio, who is now known as “Vinosofo” and “bio-innovator”, acknowledging his full embrace of the principles of organic wine production.
Briefly, what does sustainability mean to you?
At Chiusa Grande, sustainability is the only way to interact with nature. Above all things we prioritise the important and delicate relationship between man and nature. All our wines were born from the absolute conviction of this relationship, in which man cannot do anything but completely respect nature in order to receive its best fruits in exchange (“Nature to be commanded must be obeyed” is our company motto).
What steps are you taking to be more sustainable in your vineyard and winery?
Photovoltaic and solar panels for the complete energy needs of the company. We use LED lighting, constantly monitoring our energy consumption. Thermal insulation, use of pumping motors with inverters, choice of lightweight glass bottles for different product lines and the use of electric vehicles in the cellar all keep our energy consumption in check in the winery. In the vineyard we use only natural pesticides and fertilizers. We are among the first 18 companies certified VIVA by the Italian Ministry of Environment and safeguard of land and sea, first in Abruzzo.
Why did you make the choice to be organic? Are you certified, if not why not?
Our choice is not a “choice”: Chiusa Grande was born in full respect of the environment with which it interacts, so it could not be otherwise. What appear to be choices are in fact direct consequences of this idea: it is organic, it is completely sustainable, and the production techniques are fully in harmony with all this.
We are in the process of becoming certified – both European Organic and AIAB Guarantee – an even stricter protocol of organic farming – the decision to do this is exclusively the result of the will to transmit these ideas in an easier and faster way.
What do you think the biggest challenge or opportunity will be for winemakers in your region this decade?
Abruzzo is the green region of Europe, we have 38 protected areas and more than 75% of the animal and plant species of the entire European continent. Most of these areas are cultivated with vineyards. The opportunity of our region is to rediscover the relationship with nature and make it a fundamental point of regional production. It cannot be otherwise.
Describe your winemaking style in one sentence.
Innovate by returning to the essential. Malolactic fermentation, hyperoxygenation of the grape must, vinification in stone vats, sulphite-free vinification.
Which is your favourite grape variety to work with?
What would be the perfect food pairing for the wine you’re supplying to BW?
For our Montepulciano – pasta dishes, red meats dishes, cured meats and aged cheeses. For our Pinot Grigio – starters, risotto dishes, and fish.
How would you pitch your wine to a customer at a bar or restaurant?
This wine merges lifestyle and winemaking in the most absolute respect for nature to rediscover the most authentic human emotional and sensory spheres (or experiences).
What do you think is the next big trend in the world of wine?
Complete reduction of emissions from glass. Within the next 5 years we expect a clear focus on bottles made of recyclable materials.