Inspired by the original vision of Castellare di Castellina, Rocca di Frassinello has continued further along the path of sustainability. Since the winery’s early design stage Renzo Piano, who already had a good knowledge of the winemaking process through his own family heritage, has maintained a strong awareness of its function as a place of work and production. For this reason the decision was immediately made to create a winery that would enable vinification by gravity flow. This method, which makes use of the force of gravity to convey the grapes into the vats, is not only superior in avoiding the stress of pumped pressure on the grapes, but also in eliminating the use of pumps or other equipment and thus also enabling significant energy savings.
The same principle applies to the barrel room, the heart of the winery, which is located underground in excavated rock at a depth of 50 metres – thus eliminating the need for any artificial temperature and humidity control system. Finally, 2011 saw the installation – with a design by Piano covering the large car park behind the winery – of a 177 kW photovoltaic system, the operation of which can be monitored at any time via a freely accessible web page. There it is possible to read live, up-to-date information on the amount of energy produced, the CO2 emissions avoided, the petrol saved and also, last but not least, the total amount saved on the energy bill.