Collection vineyards in Cinque Terre
On saturday May 9, at the trade fair for italian excellence in Milan, a collection of wild and cultivated vineyards, which helps to preserve grapevines biodiversity, has been presented. This project was financed by the italian Department of the Environment and involves also Fondazione Symbola, the Univerity of Milan and the Cinque Terre National Park.
The loss of genetic variability occurring in almost all biological systems, either natural or created by men, is one of the biggest emergencies of these years. One of the species mostly menaced of extinction is the Vitis vinifera (wild grapevine), origin of all the cultivated vineyards. This breed grows in humid woods next to streams and is now in hazard due to urbanization, deforestation, and the increasing dryness.
To face this emergency a project started in 2006 – funded by the Department of the Environment's general Direction for Nature Protection –, and the Cinque Terre National Park, Fondazione Symbola and the University of Milan worked together for the realization of a “collection vineyard” to gather the wild grapevines and the native or typical of the mediterranean country ones.
The project – supplied with a “narration through pictures” about the phases of preparation of the terraces and the setting in ground of the vineyards – was presented by Mr Attilio Scienza, viticulture professor at the University of Milan, Mr Fabio Renzi, Secretary-general of Symbola and Mr Franco Bonanini, President of the Cinque Terre National Park. The meeting was organised by Mr Luigi Cremona, wine and gastronomical journalist, and creator of Witaly.
«When professor Scienza first told me about the collection vineyard, four years ago, I immediately suggested Cinque Terre National Park as the ideal partner for the project – Mr Renzi said, while opening the meeting –, a region that has been demonstrating a serious attention for environment and landscape recovery. These features make this territory capable of accommodating such an important legacy of wine biodiversities.»
Five thousand square meters on the hills of Volastra, the small village overlooking Manarola, now keep 1.200 wild italian grapevines, more than 1.000 native or typical from the mediterranean countries vineyards, and some remainder vineyards, without name or verified history.
«The collection vineyards – professor Scienza said – have some museum features, drawn from the hosting of precious witnesses of the thousand-year mediterranean wine history. However this must be regarded as a dynamic and alive structure, ready to change and become a safe “shelter” for the plants that will be checked on in the future. The collection will also have educative value, and will become a place where discover and come into contact with the enormous richness of wine biodiversity».
«I was born in Cinque Terre – Mr. Bonanini, president of the National Park said – and I've always been listening to melancholic stories about the coming of phylloxera and the consequent disappearing of the 22 native vineyards originally used to produce our wine. Now, thanks to this project, we host more than 2.000 different vineyards, and we have become a “casket” for mediterranean wine biodiversity. This is the most precious gift for Cinque Terre's future generations.»