Triple A

Wines labelled Triple A

“Agricoltori, Artigiani, e Artisti” is the motto at the heart of the Triple A movement, summing up its identity and key values. It was created in 2001 by Luca Gargano, a big collector, rum specialist, and CEO of Velier, a large, Italian import company for wine and liquor. This idea emerged from Gargano’s concern that most wines were overly standardised, produced with more technology and less character, lacking terroir expression and producer personality. He found these wines limited in their complexity and ageing potential…All in all, there were lots of wines without much soul.

Luca Gagano’s manifesto introduces three major qualities necessary for wine makers to craft fine wines, abbreviated to three As in Italian (not as catchy in English, sadly). Farmers (agricoltori): maybe this one speaks for itself, but the manifesto reminds us. To make a good wine, the fundamental work takes place in the vineyard, where the producer conducts the cultivation with only natural interventions. Artisans (artigiani): the wine should be crafted with an artisanal spirit both in the vineyard and the winery, avoiding industrial-scale production. And finally, artists (artisti): the producer should be able to express their own creativity through their wine, all whilst keeping in mind the importance of the terroir and the grape.

In practice, what are the rules to follow for a producer to comply?

  • Massal selection by hand
  • No synthetic products used in the vineyard (like in organic farming)
  • Respect for the vines’ natural cycles
  • Clean harvests, and only once the grapes are at perfect ripeness
  • No additives during vinification
  • Only indigenous yeasts for fermentation (ie. no added yeast)
  • Minimal use of sulphur, only allowed during bottling
  • No physical or chemical interventions other than a simple temperature check
  • Maturation on fine lees up to bottling
  • No fining or filtering
  • The best possible expression of the terroir

Overall, we might say that these are natural wines in the original sense of the term: very little or no sulphur added (and this only during bottling), produced using ‘natural’ methods, ie. no synthetic products in the vineyard or the winery, with no special oenological methods.