In Italian agriculture, vineyards have always contributed to the creation of landscapes that are unique and of varying beauty. Amid the many dynamics of social and economic change, vineyards have held on tightly, expanding or contracting as necessary for survival. Very old viticulture, full of stories and of a cultural heritage that we must better understand to be able to proceed more conscientiously. The viticultural models that are emerging today can be summed up in at least two categories:
- large-scale farming, in which the vineyard has been “dominated” almost entirely by mechanisation (as it is for large-scale cereal and vegetable farms etc.);
- the craftsman, in different expressions, dimensions, personalities and environmental contexts.
The two economies can coexist without entering into direct competition with one another because their product is very different. Large-scale viticulture is designed to compete, with major economic values, on the international wine scene to which it has many similitudes (limiting cultivation costs, great technology in the cellars) while their production origins remain important.
|Man, flora and the vine|
The wine craftsman instead represents a number of values that enrich the intrinsic value of the wine. Sometimes, they accept qualities that wouldn’t normally be included in official canons. The true craftsman created the history of Italian excellence overseas, was the custodian of our cultural values and of the environment under his most attentive and intelligent protection, even sacrificing production. I maintain that we must be better aware of the many craft producers who are, in many corners of Italy, obstinately and not always knowingly, working for great values that Italy can boast about and promote their uniqueness – the beauty of landscapes, their protection, the harmony and wellbeing of agricultural territories, the real taste of a territory.
Often also seeking to attain (biological and biodynamic) certification, these skilled wine craftsmen are extremely important assets in the industry’s economy and must be promoted overseas. It’s a “made in Italy” that can take off, create synergies, with our other economies that know how to promote the real value of that which we are capable.