The galestro, source of power and elegance for Casenuove’s wines
The soils of the domaine are relatively homogeneous, with a mixture of schists and clay, the famous “galestro” which gives the wines their powerful elegance.
Up until the 60s, the vines were planted in terraces and alternated with cereals and olives. Then Tuscany encountered the same problem as many other agricultural regions: rural exodus. It was only in the 90s that its essentially viticultural vocation really came into its own. The countryside has been completely transformed into what we see today: vast, glorious expanses of vineyards criss-crossed by small roads and punctuated here and there by olive groves.
In addition to the soil, another factor contributes to the fineness of the wines: although the springs are mild and warm and the summers are hot, the elevation creates marked differences between the day-time and night-time temperatures. Up until mid-June it hardly ever gets beyond 13° in the evening, and the grapes take advantage of these conditions to ripen in a balanced, harmonious manner.
In accordance with its established philosophy, Vignobles Austruy applies gentle methods to nurturing the vines throughout the year.
In order to master yields (25 hectolitres per hectare on average) the planting density has been increased to 5600 vines per hectare. Legumes and cereals are planted between the rows, serving as green compost and mulch and acting as natural moisture absorbers. They also help to stabilise and decompact the soil, which improves microbial activity. Vetch also plays a role, by limiting erosion. No synthetic fertilisers are used, only organic. And no herbicides are used: the different grape varieties all find their own way of achieving a balance which strengthens them, and the only soil treatments required are copper- and sulphur-based (Bordeaux mixture).
Harvesting is done entirely by hand using small crates to keep the grapes intact so that they retain all their freshness until they reach the winery. A soil study enabled the domaine to be divided into about 15 plots, which in turn were divided into sub-plots: a record of around 50 units is now maintained and each one is individually monitored until the optimum time for harvesting – a high-class balancing act.