Parasites become predominant and give rise to disease when the balance of the ecosystem is lost.
To avoid this, first of all we endevour to maintain high levels of biodiversity and thus strengthen the homeostasis of ecosystems.
A natural environment in balance involves the continuous, although sporadic, presence of parasitic organisms. The presence of parasites will stimulate the defense system of the plant and induce the plant to produce more polyphenols. The polyphenols have a key role in determining the quality of a wine like Brunello. In addition, some polyphenols, such as resveretrol are very beneficial to humans.
Therefore in pest control we do not aim to eliminate parasistes completely but to keep their density below an acceptable limit.
To do this, first we use the normal agronomic techniques such as canopy treatments, hoeing, etc., and then exercise the utmost care to remove any infected material from the vineyards.
We also use various elicitors such as Siberian pine extract, copper in small doses, chitosan, salicylic acid, all of which are capable of inducing in the plant, the biosynthesis of metabolites involved in defensive responses.
When this is insufficient, and when possible, we inoculate native antagonist species such as K. aberrans, A. quisqualis, B. subtilis, T. herzianum, B.pumilis.
When this proves to be insufficient we employ chemical treatments targeted on hotspots of infection outbreak: against powdery mildew we may use mineral oil, potassium bicarbonate, and ultimately sulfur while against downy mildew we use copper.
Over the past five years we have used sulfur for only two treatments in one vineyard, and on average we have used less than one kg of metallic copper per hectare per year.