Settesoli: more than just a cooperative
Families, circular economy and the environment: these are the strengths of the development model of the historic Cantine Settesoli cooperative.
by Sara Migliorini
If there is one thing that is often lacking in wine communication, it is courage. Basically, most companies tell their stories in a self-referential way and this tends to flatten, make many of the communication contents obvious and banal.
The exact opposite of what the historic Sicilian cooperative Settesoli does, a virtuous example of industriousness, cohesion and planning born in Menfi, a small town in the south of Sicily. It is a community of 2,000 winegrowing members who, with passion and dedication, cultivate a vineyard of over 6,000 hectares, the largest in Europe, narrating stories of passion and peasant wisdom, handed down from generation to generation and translated into productive excellence, which has always been dedicated to quality viticulture.
Cantine Settesoli is a cooperative that is based on healthy principles of solidarity, which also supports and involves the new generations in a modern system of farming and work.
It produces quality wines with a strong territorial identity, including organic ones, and constitutes a model of ethical management of the winery understood as a community, an economic and social reference point for an entire territory. We can speak of sustainability at 360°: thanks to the cooperative, 5,000 families located in nine municipalities and three provinces can work with the prospect of a brighter future. In the cooperative, the concept of sustainable development is a cultural introjection that must be accepted, shared in all its aspects and practiced by each member, starting right from the agricultural management of the territory.
The new techniques for managing work in the vineyard – such as integrated pest management, conservative pruning with the Simonit & Sirch method – and the use of local resources (98% of the total) are essential to make the most of the quality of the grapes, respecting the environment. Based on the data collected in the vineyards by EnoGis – a computerized agronomic system with meteorological huts – members are issued weekly bulletins to carry out specific operations where the conditions exist; it is thus possible to monitor downy mildew attacks, take advantage of critical climatic phenomena, control the grape harvesters and their speed.
With the 2021 agricultural campaign, Cantine Settesoli has launched the Alta Qualità Bio project, an initiative aimed at safeguarding and enhancing the territory, the agricultural community and the quality of Cantine Settesoli products. An ambitious path that sees the Sicilian wine reality as the first cooperative in the sector, at a national level, to apply this virtuous model.
«We are proud to have embarked on this path and the intent is to invest with ever more determination and promptness in the Alta Qualità Bio project. A decision, underlines the president Giuseppe Bursi, which arises from the desire to further raise the level of existing organic production, bringing ever more rigorous guidelines that we have developed starting from within, in our own cooperative reality.