Feature Coverage

Charitable efforts in Chianti: Volpaia for Ethiopia

A high-caliber Chianti Classico in aid of African children is the bet Castello del Volpaia is making to benefit the “Save the Children” fund. It will devote 100% of its revenue from sales of 1,483 bottles of its finest wine to a community education project whose goal is building 4 schools and digging 4 potable water wells in a part of the Ethiopian desert, Tigray, to guarantee a better future for thousands of children and their communities.

The wine chosen for the fund-raising is not your garden-variety: it’s the 2006 vintage of Puro, a collector’s Chianti Classico rating 3 glasses from Gambero Rosso and made from a selection of 25 different Sangiovese clones that Volpaia has been collecting since the 1960s, thereby preserving the great genetic variety of Sangiovese in its vineyards. “This is the first time that an Italian winery is donating its finest for a project of this kind, with no commercial purposes”, says Nicolò Mascheroni Stianti, owner of Castello di Volpaia together with his parents, Giovanella Stianti and Carlo Mascheroni. “Whoever buys this wine can be sure of two things: one, that he or she is buying a premium wine and, two, that the entire purchase price will go to a specific charity project dedicated to educating African children, which we chose precisely for its educational features”.

A bottle of Puro will be given to anyone making a 100-euro donation to Save the Children. “My family”, Nicolò Mascheroni Stianti goes on to say, “believes that it is ever more important to protect the integrity of the environment surrounding us, and in this the farmer has always played a leading role. But I also think that using such a special wine is a very useful vehicle for improving the social and environmental contexts of those less fortunate than we are. And so this becomes another piece in our project aimed at integrated and sustainable agriculture”.

Puro comes from the Casanova vineyards, a sort of treasure trove of old Volpaia clones. Wine buffs will be interested to know that the vineyard has southern-southeastern exposure, lies at about 450 meters above sea level and is situated on sandy-limey sandstone terrain. “Puro,” Volpaia further explains, “is 100% Sangiovese, 100% indigenous clones, 100% organic, 100% Chianti Classico. It’s also the first wine in the world certified Zero Impact, meaning that the CO2 emissions produced in making it have been offset by their equivalent in new forests planted in Costa Rica by Lifegate”.

Sales of the wine will be reserved to a selected group of guests and collectors invited to two events, one in Milan, the other in Rome, to be held in coming weeks. A small portion of the bottles will be auctioned off at the website of Save the Children.

For more information and to make donations, go to savethechildren.volpaia.it

November 19, 2009
Charitable efforts in Chianti: Volpaia for Ethiopia