Meet the winemaker: D.S. Bio
As part of a new series, we'll be introducing you to some of the key winemakers we work with at Bon Vino.
Today, we'd like you to meet D.S. Bio, a boundary-pushing natural winemaker from Italy's Lazio region. You'll recognize their bottles, identifiable by their unique pattern:
Danilo Scenna founded the winery in 2012, meaning 2022 is the project's 10th anniversary. To celebrate, we sat down with Scenna to learn more about his work, including how the vineyard allows him to combine two of his great passions: wine and horses.
Hi Danilo, tell us a bit about your background – when did you get into the wine trade and why?
I have always been passionate about wine. I had some family land but my parents were not farmers by profession. I started to plant the first vineyards, and to buy back land that belonged to my great-grandfather but over the years had been donated to my uncles and cousins.
Happy 10-year anniversary! What was your original mission?
From the beginning I tried to express my two great passions: wine and horses. The idea is to cultivate with natural and sustainable methods, also because we are in a completely uncontaminated environment. For this reason we immediately started cultivating with the biodynamic farming method.
You are located in Pescosolido, why was this the right spot for your vineyard?
Pescosolido is a small town on the border between Lazio and Abruzzo. On the slopes of the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. An inaccessible place because there are no large extensions, but a place rich in biodiversity, both plant and animal. The conditions for growing grapes are perfect. Rocky soils, southern exposure and constant ventilation, which allows the reduction of fungal diseases.
The project unites two of your passions, wines and horses. Tell us about bringing those two things together.
In addition to wine, horses have always been my passion. The biodynamic method is based on the concept of the closed-loop. The farm is, in fact, considered a real living organism in a closed cycle, where earth, vegetation, animals and men are found in balance, all included in the largest cosmic living organism. Horses are raised completely in the wild. They are free to run and eat in very large spaces. With the manure they produce, we fertilize our soils to increase vitality and humus.
You are certified organic and biodynamic – why was that important to you?
I am convinced that certifications represent an added value and are synonymous with guarantee; because there is a third party that evaluates the farmer's work. D.S. bio is certified organic and biodynamic by Demeter.
Being biodynamic involves a variety of processes and routines that from the outside may appear strange, for example, does the moon really affect your grapes?
Biodynamics is much more practical and simple than how it is told. In addition to the philosophical notions, there is a lot of concreteness.
What we do is reduce the use of chemistry as much as possible by replacing it with natural preparations. it is constant, scrupulous work. We try to anticipate problems by creating conditions for plants to be more resistant thanks to live soil.
We follow the lunar phases for our work in the field and in the cellar. For example, we bottle our aging wines with a waning moon, while for young wines they are bottled with a waxing moon.
How does biodiversity play a role in your vineyard?
Biodiversity is the most important aspect of all. An environment rich in different plants is a healthy environment. There is a balance between all living things: plants, animals and insects. Monoculture causes many problems so you have to intervene with chemistry. Where there is diversity, plants are better off.
Your labels are quite unique, what do the patterns symbolise?
On my labels there are represented the grape seeds arranged like the rows of the first vineyard I planted. it is as if it were a photo seen from above.
Where do you get inspiration for the names of your wines?
Each name of my wines has a different meaning.
ARCARO: it is both the historical name where you come from the vineyard, but it is also a tribute to the jockey Eddie Arcaro.
MATRE: is the union of the two grape varieties: Maturano and Trebbiano
VOLUMNIA: is a tribute to a woman of ancient Rome. I had read his story and I was struck by an anecdote: he convinced the legendary hero of the gens Marcia, already conqueror of the Volsci, to lay down his arms against Rome, dissuading him from the desire to take revenge against his ungrateful homeland, which had unjustly exiled him.
PALMIERI: is the dialectal name where the Lecinaro grape is grown.
INDOMATO: it means untamed, it is that line of wines a little strange, more extreme, with longer macerations; these are the wines that are the fruit of my experiments.