Seen from the outside, with the neutral colored façade punctuated by geometric patterns in earthy colours, the new logistic cellar of Tenute del Cerro is an architectural element in total harmony with the natural context in which it is inserted: we are in Acquaviva di Montepulciano, in the province of Siena, here stands “Le Cerraie", a new home for the wines of the Unipol Group agricultural company which, for its DOCGs, all coming from native vines, has created a new production and storage center.
In the heart of this imposing structure that is spread over an area of 4 thousand square meters, innovation is at home, as is sustainability: the latter, in particular, is not just a concept that aligns production with energy saving and respect for the environment, but in symbolic terms it is a real place of the heart in which to merge the entire company philosophy.
This is explained by the General Manager of Tenute del Cerro, Antonio Donato, whom we asked to tell us about "Le Cerraie", starting from the idea that best expresses the way in which the structure fits into the Group's activities.
A new production center with a green soul
Our journey into the new production heart of Tenute del Cerro starts, therefore, precisely from the dimension of sustainability. It is from here that the Director Antonio Donato chooses to begin his story, a new page of company history that speaks of innovation and great respect for the territory: as he explains, in fact, during the construction phase was given the utmost attention to the recovery of solar energy, a project carried out thanks to the installation of photovoltaic panels that guarantee a production of 100 KW.
But there is more. "Here at "Le Cerraie"- Antonio Donato points out, harmony with the landscape is very important, which is why we have selected building materials capable of respecting both the aesthetic and functional components: from this point of view, for the external claddings of “Le Cerraie" we used special wood pulp panels which, in addition to enhancing the design and colors of the building, act as thermal insulators. In this way, the energy requirement necessary for cooling the storage warehouse is significantly reduced".
The choice of a particular type of concrete with amber shades also falls within this logic, which gives the structure that particular chromatic impact capable of homogenizing itself with the natural element: "A solution - underlines the Director - that makes the new logistic cellar a place unique in the territory of Montepulciano, if not in the whole of Tuscany".
Therefore, for Tenute del Cerro green is not simply a front on which to invest, but a real constituent element of the company's DNA: "The idea is simple - Antonio Donato tells us - and coincides with a question that we of the Group have always asked ourselves: what can we do to preserve the territories we are lucky enough to cultivate? This is why we are not just talking about investment, for sure we take care of this aspect, but our commitment from this point of view goes further. The present confronts us with the consequences of climate change and drought, which is why we have a duty to take care of our land, especially thinking of future generations. Our Estates are located between Tuscany and Umbria, important territories, rich in history and elements of great naturalistic value, our greatest commitment is to take care of them".
Innovation at the service of the product
The new structure, which in addition to the entire production of Fattoria del Cerro will also accommodate that coming from the other Estates of the Group, was created with the aim of improving the storage conditions of the wines produced: "The new warehouse" - explains the Director - can contain about 1,200 pallets, it is perfectly thermocontrolled and will allow the finished product to be stored in optimal conditions, avoiding possible thermal shocks in the passage of the bottles from one site to another".
The possibility of bringing together all the production of Tenute del Cerro in a single warehouse is therefore a key element of the new structure and represents an important step forward on the road to quality.
Furthermore, with the birth of "Le Cerraie", the bottling line will also undergo a leap in quality: "Here in the new cellar" - underlines the Director of Tenute del Cerro, we are able to manage this stage of production in a fully automated way and to proceed more easily to the shipments of all our wines. On the other hand, our goal has always been to increase production excellence without neglecting attention to the environmental impact, which is one of our main paradigms".
Looking to the future with optimism
Along with the new logistic cellar, there are also some nice production innovations, as Antonio Donato anticipates, in fact, in synergy with the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the Group is working to create a cru that will be part of the "Pieve" project, the new denomination that the Consortium will launch by 2024: “The first production, which will see the light in two years - the Director reveals, will celebrate the investments made by the Group, including, of course, also “Le Cerraie". For the moment it is a work in progress ".
But this is not the only novelty planned: over the next six years, the Director announces, the Group will be engaged in an important challenge on the organic front: "We have already converted the Monterufoli Estate, and the others Estates will gradually follow this path".
Looking at future projects, then, Donato shows us the project to enlarge the rainwater collection basin of Fattoria del Cerro, which will increase from 40 thousand to 95 thousand cubic meters. The project also includes for the creation of a new reservoir with a capacity of 90 thousand cubic meters in the San Giuseppe area in Montepulciano.
A program in line with the green vocation of the Group's Estates, which was created in response to the increasingly frequent drought events and aims to maximize the use of rainwater by disconnecting the company's needs from public water sources.
In the next few months, the Director announces, the project to expand the aging cellar of Fattoria del Cerro in Montepulciano will see the light.
The birth of the new logistic cellar "Le Cerraie", therefore, is part of a broader path of growth and innovation which, involving all the Estates of the Group, aims to look to the future with optimism: a project that the Director defines as "a return at the origins of taste" and which is intertwined with the development of hospitality and activities in Montepulciano and Monterufoli: the goal is to return to the pleasure of sharing, conviviality and experiences to be experienced firsthand, by coming into contact with wine and with that sensorial universe that reaches the territory and its peculiarities from the final product.
A journey into taste that promises many surprises, don't you think?