It is hard to overstate just how committed the family behind l’Archetipo is to changing the way we think about agriculture - the paternal Francesco Valentino Dibenedetto, his wife Anna Maria, and their four children, Carlo Nazareno, Domenico, Andrea, and Maria Clelia, are in the middle of a lifelong crusade to change the way vineyards are farmed, and how food is thought of.
If you were to take a brief glance at the winery’s website out of context, you would likely feel that the text had been ripped from the pages of an academic journal on agronomy. Francesco, in fact, is a frequent guest and speaker at environmental conferences all over Europe, and his command of the language of soil has come through more than three decades of experience with organics, biodynamics, and a brand of farming all their own that could best be called, “synergistic.”
Following the work of Masanobu Fukuoka, l’Archetipo no longer plows any of their vineyards, preserving the homes of insects, birds, worms, and plenty of crops between the vines. Their vines are untrained in a “free espalier,” “creeping and climbing,” as is their archetype. Three hundred and twenty meters above sea level, Primitivo, Aglianico, Greco, Fiano, Susumaniello, Marchione, Maresco, are grown, and harvested by hand at their ideal moment of ripeness.
With all of this attention to detail in the vineyard, it’s not surprising that the winemaking style of l’Archetipo is as minimal intervention as it gets, with only indigineous yeast, no additions apart from sulfur and aging in exclusively neutral vessels. Their wines are the direct result of these years of hard work in the vineyard, and are among our favorites to come from Italy.