In principle, winemaking is a spontaneous chemical process initiated and governed by human intervention. People wait until grapes are ripe, collect them, press them, wait for the juices to ferment, decide at which moment the fermentation must be interrupted, the wine must be separated from the skins, put into large or small containers and aged… until it is ready to be bottled, sold and drunk.

Each of these steps requires human intervention and each of these steps is based on human experience and knowledge. Since the last century and the progress of chemistry, human intervention is less empirical and increasingly scientific. It is so developed, that soil is analysed in labs and with the aid of drones and satellite pictures, it is established which vines to plant in exact spots. Micro sensors monitor the microclimate in the vineyards, the presence of moulds, fungi, parasites and other threats. The level of “readiness” of mature grapes is assessed with high-tech machinery. Science is widely being used to create products that meet the consumers’ palate and sell, to optimise the use of labour and machinery and allow the people who work in the vineyards and in the wine cellars, the marketing gurus, sales force and above all, the investors, to make a profitable living and a return on their investment. Wine is, after all, big business!

Well, not for everyone. For many small, or very small vintners, it is passion, it is a vision, a purpose in life to make true, authentic wines. The idea of Vinland was born when we tired of the large wine productions and decided to explore the world of small wines, made “next door” by people and nature, not by industrial processes.

When we first visited Paride Chiovini in Sizzano – and such visits can take hours of long conversations – after showing us around his vineyards, he told us how much he loved spending time there. “It makes me oblivious, because I’m so happy there”, he said. One day, while in his beloved vineyard, he received a call from a restaurant he supplies. They asked for an urgent delivery as they were out of stock and had a big party of guests coming. Paride went back to his cellar, loaded his car and drove off. On the road he realised that he was still wearing his dirty clothes and boots covered in soil and dust. Too late, he thought. A Jaguar was parked in front of the restaurant and a very elegant gentleman drove off in it. The restaurant manager asked with a wry smile “ Did you just see that Jaguar leave? That was Mr. A., a colleague of yours”. Paride knew that Mr. A. was one of the best known winemakers in Italy, whose family business exported many thousands of prestigious bottles globally. He was puzzled, felt embarrassed in his dirty working clothes and regretted not having shaken hands with the great man. Then, as he drove back, he realised that no, he did not want to be like Mr. A. He wanted to be just like he was: bound to the soil, happy in the vineyard.

At Vinland we have wines from many passionate winemakers like Paride Chiovini, and we are happy to introduce their wines to you, and tell you something about them.