Salcheto was born as a multi-crop farm in the ‘80s, a farm with a historic vineyard in the centre of great territory. Since 1997, upon the arrival of Michele Manelli, the company has been specializing in wine, immediately obtaining important awards. Including international ones, for its infamous vini Nobile.

The name Salcheto is inspired by the stream which runs along it. Once the place of “Salco”, or willows in ancient popular Tuscan, whose branches were used to tie up the vines to the posts.

After the first few years of experience and timid investments, Manelli quickly became convinced that he had to expand his company for it to maintain the quality craftsmanship he desired. While at the same time it had to face the internationalization of this particular sector and the organizational efficiency that was being imposed on it. Together with new financial partners, headed by the De Feo and the Prashker families, a new expansion plan had begun. Manelli believes that a company should create and inspire choices for the best environmental outcome and strive for the deepest social cohesion with all stakeholders, beginning with the employees.


It is from this context that the idea of an energy-autonomous winery was born. Starting with efficiency, therefore savings, and searching inside the farm for sources of production for renewable energy: the solutions will range from solar skylights to illuminate all workspaces, vertical gardens, adiabatic irrigation of the roof and natural night ventilation to air-condition the cellar in summer, vinifications which exploit the energy produced by the fermentation itself to move must and marc, energy production from all pruning waste and the geothermal exchange at low enthalpy under the vineyards, ending with a production of electricity from photovoltaics.

In ten years this has allowed us to save more than 1.100.000 kWh of energy contributing significantly to the improvement of the carbon footprint, another key element of the company project.


Already in 2010, we were wondering how to evaluate the performance of the winery we were building and thanks to the vision of Antonio Ferro, expert in environmental issues, a research group was set up with distinguished academics, researchers and exponents of environmental certifications whom set out an even more incisive challenge: quantify and certify the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine based on the best international standards. A world first, five years ahead of the regulations then issued on the subject. From this momentum of great enthusiasm followed other important activities on the theme of environmental impact modelling, particularly on water and biodiversity. All of which were publicized, starting from the Montepulciano Charter on the Carbon Footprint of Wine in 2011, but also inspiring the Wine Sustainability Forum in 2013-2015 and finally Equalitas, a leading standard in the certification of supply chain sustainability, in subsequent years.


2009 CO2eq emission kg 1,83 / Wine Bottles

The Carbon Footprint was chosen, by the working group led by Domenico Andreis, the Salcheto Carbon Free Working Group, precisely because of its ability to represent a relevant impact, such as the one on the climate, but also for its ability to represent the entire supply chain in an LCA logic (“from cradle to grave”). The index that emerged, of 1.83 kg per bottle of CO2 equivalent emissions, also had an impact. Emissions per bottle had also had an impact because it had revealed three critical areas that the supply chain would have to face: agricultural management, with diesel fuel for transport and the production of fertilizers and drugs; the winery and its air conditioning; packaging and in a particular glass. From the integration of these indices in its management model, the company has immediately started a development path that would go beyond the already impressive energy-autonomous cellar energy-autonomous winery.


One of the most significant steps is represented by the transformation of the packaging. Since 2013 bottles have been locally produced and ultra- light this alone, contributed to the excellent results achieved in terms of carbon footprint:between 2010 and 2020 about 40% savings with over 2.3 million kg of CO2eq avoided. While this is an achievement, the company is motivated to continue to improve on packaging. The innovative Bag in Box launched in full lockdown and aims to be carbon negative.


Therefore there is a long series of corporate activities that are continuously organized in coherence with a holistic vision of corporate sustainability: from the realization of exhibition stands without electricity(2012) or entire waste collected during the preparation itself (2015) or in any case with zero waste (since 2016); as well as an interesting production of accessories made with materials recovered from their waste, such as glasses made from used barrels or glasses made from discarded bottles. The entire production is then certified organic. The supply chain of their wood materials is guaranteed to come from sustainable sources FSC or PEFC and great importance is also given to the management of waterith a total recovery of the water used and a Water Footprint which has been analysed since 2011.


However, there is not only the fight against climate change or the protection of biodiversity in this decade. There are also important developments in the social and labour spheres: since 2015, the company has decided to invest in these policies and the results soon arrived. Salcheto has been the first Italian winery in 2017 to start a corporate welfare plan for its employees. After having introduced an organizational model based on the transparency of relationships, training, and co-participation of workers, with incentives and career plans all-inclusive with content related to sustainable development.

Today Salcheto is also a Benefit Company and therefore has objective rules and responsibilities towards third parties in its commitment to the sustainable growth of the company, the communities in which it operates, and which draws up a certified Sustainability Report. It is with great pride that this business paradigm, which began as a new innovative company ten years ago, has today, grown into a solid model which continues to inspire the production chain, as can be seen by the continuous calls for communication and disclosure but also by the important acknowledgments received, such as the Robert Parker Green Emblem awarded on the tenth anniversary of the winery.

"Looking back and reviewing what we did...
to perceive the esteem of those who looked at us from outside and the pride of all those who worked with us...
what an emotion!"