Elisabetta Foradori arguably single-handedly put the grape variety Teroldego centre stage for fine wine production. By eschewing clones and pursuing massal selection, she's preserved the genetic heritage of this old Italian variety, and through natural winemaking she creates compelling wines of the Dolomites.
LITTLEWINE spoke with her son, Theo Zierock
"For us it’s about the holistic understanding of how plants interact and how to create a natural balance. Not only creating a balance in nature, but a balance between yourself and nature."
People: Elisabetta Foradori, Emilio, Theo and Myrtha Zierock
Place: The Dolomites, Trentino, Italy
Varieties: Teroldego, Nosiola, Pinot Gris and Manzoni Bianco
Farming: Biodynamic with elements of permaculture
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? The diversification of the estate has rocketed with the addition of Myrtha to the gang in 2019. Having joined a farm-to-table cooperative in Oregon, Myrtha became fascinated with the model – no machines, permaculture, direct to consumer... the organic dream. Today, she works one hectare of land according to permaculture, planting seasonal vegetables and supplying local restaurants. Her desire to evolve the agricultural model has been instrumental in shaping Foradori into its present-day form.
“The story between biodynamics and us is quite complicated because my father, Rainer, didn’t like the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. He didn’t like him at all because he saw himself as parallel to him.”
Instead, relating back to the theoretical writing of Goethe, who is arguably the original biodynamic mind, the origin of the family’s relationship to biodynamics goes back to Rainer’s research into ‘dynamic biology.’
“The origin of our relationship to biodynamics comes from this: The holistic understanding of how plants interact, and how to create a natural balance – not only a balance in nature, but specifically a balance especially between you and nature.”
As such, their first contact with the notion of biodynamics was over 40 years ago. Rather than biodynamics, Rainer called it dynamic organic agriculture. Later, Elisabetta became interested in the writings of Steiner through an interaction with Alsatian winemaker Marc Kreydenweiss. In 1999 she converted their first officially biodynamic vineyard, and the following year the whole estate. Theo explains,