There is more than one good side to Sagrantino, thanks to the Arnaldo Caprai winery, where social sustainability also means integration: thanks to the partnership, started in 2016, with the Caritas of Foligno, today some sixty migrants are building their future among the rows of Montefalco.
The story is told today by the insert Good News of Corriere della Serain an extensive report by Luciano Ferraro.
Born in a whisper, this recruitment in the cellar and the countryside has become a staple over the years, to the point that when it came to filling out the February pay slips for the 92 employees of Arnaldo Caprai, it turned out that 60 had come to Italy seeking asylum. 'These young people,' explains Marco Caprai, 'are the best part of a generation, they have their education behind them, they speak two or three languages. Here they are employed in all sectors, in the fields or in cellar work. They are hired as agricultural workers, with all the papers in order, then they follow the work from pruning the vines to harvesting the grapes. These are almost permanent jobs, on average they work up to 180 days a year. Unfortunately, we wine producers can rarely afford to hire all the staff from January to December'.
The citizenship income, then, has not facilitated the recruitment of local labour. 'The framework,' explains Marco Caprai, 'is that of sustainability, the social one is fundamental. Caritas, since we started this path, has been signalling us the young people available to work between our rows, bringing together two objective needs, because since the citizenship income was established it has become difficult to find labour. The countryside, after all, for many is not the first choice for young people, and Covid-19 has even worsened this condition'. In recent years, the winery has grown in size, so there is a need for labour, but also a firm desire to rely on clear and fair contractual practices: 'Welfare is an important and serious issue for a business that wants to be truly sustainable,' Caprai firmly maintains.
So, in Montefalco, there are those who are thinking of building, once again, something good for the territory and its people: 'It was also a way,' Marco Caprai continues, 'to sweep away prejudices: those who thought that migrants were slackers ready to commit crimes had to change their minds. These are young people who leave before dawn on their bicycles from Foligno to Montefalco, 7 kilometres in the dark, to start their shift at 6 a.m. And while they are here they learn a job, often a hard one'.
Next summer, if it is possible, the winery will celebrate its first 50 years in business. Or perhaps the event will have to be postponed. But in the meantime, Arnaldo Caprai will continue to welcome migrants among the vines.
ARNALDO CAPRAI FARM AT A GLANCE
Few other wineries in Italy and around the world are immediately identified just by mentioning the name of the denomination to which they belong, like Arnaldo Caprai, itself a symbol of Sagrantino di Montefalco. A unique reality, synonymous with Italian excellence, capable of creating wines that are out of the ordinary in terms of depth, elegance and longevity: not only reds, but also whites. The credit for this adventure that began in the late 1970s goes to Marco Caprai, Arnaldo's son. It was he, in fact, more than anyone else who believed in the richness of Sagrantino, reinterpreting it in a modern key, through the most innovative production and business management methods, which have enabled him to win the favour of the public and critics all over the world. Not to be outdone by the whites: Arnaldo Caprai's Grecante, 100% Grechetto, managed to conquer Wine Spectator's Top100.
A great company, Arnaldo Caprai, that guards a green soul, considering issues concerning sustainability, protection and safeguarding the environment as fundamental. The point of observation always remains the same: trying to behave in harmony with natural evolution cycles, preserving and enhancing the territory in which it operates. This is why the company decided to create an Environmental Management System that complies with international regulations, developing a voluntary territorial protocol of environmental, economic and social sustainability of the production process.
It is in this unparalleled context that wines of unforgettable substance are born, complex and elegant, capable of narrating the best of an entire region, Umbria.