BRANCAIA comprises of the three estates Brancaia (Castellina in Chianti), Poppi (Radda in Chianti) and Brancaia in Maremma (Grosseto) - summing up to a vineyard surface of ca. 80 hectares, about 200 acres respectively.
These three estates are different in many ways but have one common ground: one dedicated team with a clear philosophy is striving to gain maximal grape quality out of every vineyard – year by year.
Top-quality wine can only be made with top-quality grapes. At the same time, nature is an essential factor that we cannot influence. We must understand and adapt to nature, react in the best possible way, while treating it with respect at all times.
Barbara Widmer lives on the estate all year round and makes daily tours through the vineyards – this means that they are very well informed about how their plants are doing and what needs to be done. Nevertheless, with 80 hectares they need a lot of diligent hands in order to thoroughly perform all of the work. Their workers are in the vineyards for over 450 hours per hectare until the grapes reach the cellar. Most of it is manual labour. These steps are important quality controls that greatly influence the final result.
The first yield regulation is conducted early on at the pruning stage and all future work serves as yield regulation and quality assurance respectively. Therefore, it is very important that this work is correctly and carefully performed. There is no doubt that it is nice to work outdoors, but it can also be terribly cold, horribly wet or brutally hot. Sometimes the work can also be monotonous. This raises the question, how do they motivate their employees? At BRANCAIA they have a relatively large core team; people who have been permanently employed with them for many years. They only call in contract workers for roughly 2 weeks of trimming work, and, of course, for the harvest. With an operation of their size, many workers must work in the cellar and in the field accordingly, otherwise it would not be possible for them to employ them over the course of the entire year.
They try to sensitise their employees’ focus on quality through presentations, samplings and staff outings. And it works! All of their employees are proud to be a part of the BRANCAIA Team.