L’Archetipo; wines in symbiosis with the earth.

The Archetipo vineyard in Castellaneta is a planetary vineyard. Part of a whole, of a complex and interconnected system called Earth which leads its founder, Francesco Valentino Di Benedetto, on the one hand to earnestly launch a proposal to designate humus as a world heritage, and on the other to receive awards such as Vinitaly's “5 Star wines - Wine without walls” award 
It is here, under the Murge of Puglia, that this agronomist and peasant lives and works - two professions that do not always coincide - born 57 harvests ago, born on a heap of lees. Destiny marked, more or less. Excellent academic training and a principle of collaboration with the faculty interrupted in the name of a freedom that, like a fire that burns inside and overflows with bright and penetrating eyes, pushes him to ask himself a few too many questions. The encounter with Rudolf Steiner’s school of thought, and the revolution of a blade of grass flown from Japan thanks to the breath of the peasant-philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, become the main road that leads to the practice of agriculture "in which the synergies between all the rings of the ecosystem are triggered”. Arriving to "cease committing the most serious mistake that is still being made by practictioners of all types of agriculture: plowing". A provocation? Not at all. The journey begins with organic agriculture in the Eighties, crosses biodynamics, and overcomes it in the name of soil fertility. Coming to the conclusion that plowing the earth is not all that different from destroying a densely populated building, if only one eschews the mentality of Homo technologicus and places oneself on the same level as all other living beings: plants, animals, and insects, "which are all in competition, but also in synergy with, one another". All committed, for personal and collective interest, to the functioning of a perfect mechanism called Nature.
A mechanism which now risks jamming forever. The reasoning is clear: since the dawn of time, Man has cultivated the land, affecting only the superficial part, penetrating with the hoe or animal-drawn plow a few tens of centimeters. With the advent of mechanization, things have changed: by disturbing a deeper part of the soil we have affected the humus: "the true nourishment of plants". Plowing, therefore, according to the agronomist, means upsetting those delicate balances between the various forms of life that inhabit the different depths of the soil. Destroy a great texture that Nature has woven. A perfect circle that allows what dies to return to new life in due course. It is a bit like what happens at the bottom of the oceans, another world that we humans do not know, but over which we think we hold dominion: "The whale is fine if the plankton it feeds on is fine, if the whole food chain works. If the plankton dies, the whale dies,”says Valentino. And so the 30 hectares of L’Archetipo vineyard are home to at least 70 different plant species, and who knows how many life forms their roots sustain. And the scaffold is no longer 50 centimeters from the ground, but one meter and twenty, to make room for volunteer plants and coax them to coexist with the vineyards. And the branches climb upwards, forming a sort of awning that is naught but a support for their growth. “Free espalier” is the name he gave it. It is only by practicing this perfectly integrated complexity, therefore, that according to Di Benedetto it makes sense to talk about indigenous natural yeasts: "carrying on fermentation using these yeasts is completely different from doing it with industrial yeasts, which are approved according to reductionist logic and are absurdly standardized for the whole planet". The use of which, however, "has become a necessary evil, because by making use of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, all the natural microflora are eliminated". The message, therefore, is that "only by practicing synergistic agriculture will we have a vital army ready to carry out the great and complex transformation that leads a must to become wine, a unique wine of its kind, which expresses in the deepest and most complete way the concept of terroir". A more than rational explanation for understanding the not at all bizarre idea of ​​preserving humus by declaring it a world heritage. Everything is connected, everything is held. In an increasingly precarious balance. In this view, the cultivated vines can only be indigenous.
The most representative is perhaps the blend of Primitivo and Aglianico, because it is here, between Puglia and Lucania, that the two meet. The grapes of the two vines are also vinified in purity, as is the case for whites and rosés. Because this piece of Puglia does not only offer great structured reds.
Marasco, for example, is a sparkling wine with an ancestral method that moves deftly in the mouth, without sacrificing softness and roundness. The nose is of white flowers and fresh grass. A simple wine - which does not mean easy - and delicate, which stands out for its liveliness. Vinified from Maresco grapes, a minor indigenous vine chosen after careful selection: "Ten years have passed since I decided to produce a new wine until I put it in the bottle," smiles Valentino. In pink (and starting this year also in a still version, such as Primitivo) the Susumaniello is vinified, which ferments spontaneously at low temperatures through pied de cuve in steel containers. Aged for at least a year on the fine lees with frequent batonnage, as is the case with all the company's wines. There is the Verdeca Settelune macerated white: compact, material, with an elegant drink. Powerful and unsettling, like those who do it. And then Primitivo, Negroamaro, Fiano, Moscatello.
Wines of terroir. “Each place, understood as the specific interaction of a multitude of factors - says Valentino Di Benedetto - has its own unique and inimitable digital footprint just like every living being on this Earth. If we understand and respect all this, we can make wine a work of art".

From La Repubblica