In the surroundings of Andria in the Puglia region, near Bari in Apulia, at an altitude of 250 metres a.s.l., lies the farm Giancarlo Ceci. The vineyards are situated just above the famous Italy boot on the Adriatic Sea, an area that is perfectly suited for the production of fine wines. For eight generations and 200 years, the Ceci family has cultivated the land with the greatest respect for nature and traditions.
The Mediterranean climate, the location amidst a landscape of low hills, the presence of oak woods, the non-intensive cultures contribute to preserve the biodiversity and the precious balance of this ecosystem. The farm experienced a significant upturn in 1988 when Giancarlo Ceci upon his return from agricultural school, converted the acreage to organic. He developed the AGRINATURA brand, focusing his efforts on innovation, quality and operation of a full-scale fresh produce growing, packing and shipping facility, along with organic olive oil, which is grown, pressed and packed on site.
Giancarlo Ceci with AGRINATURA was a pioneer in growing and marketing organic products and was one of the first certified organic producers in Italy. In 2000, new grape vines were planted over an area of 70 hectars and the first organic wine production took place in 2004. The vineyard received USDA organic certification in 2006.
The winery is equipped with vast cellars for the aging of the wine underneath the 400+ year-old family mansion. Minimal sulfites are added to the wines and high-tech filtration equipment keeps the naturally-occurring levels of sulfites as low as possible. The resulting wines contain 1/3 the levels of sulfites found in most c onventional wines and all fit within the USDA regulations for “made with organic grapes” wines. With an eye toward innovation.
Ceci is working on a proprietary method of producing top quality wines without any sulfites added which will allow future sales of 100% organic wines for the U.S. market. The resulting award-winning wines are sold throughout Europe, and selected local varieties are available in the United States, under the Castel del Monte DOC/DOCG label. All Ceci’s wines are organic, moreover the Bombino Bianco Panascio, the Parchitello Bombino Nero Rosato and Almagia Rosso are organic and biovegan, that means that no animal finings are used.