By Paolo Peira
Whenever we look at a landscape, the profile of a hill, a country in the distance, the horizon of a mountain peak, a lush vineyard, the famous sentence comes to mind: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This is because the stimulations that each observer receives, according to his tastes and his expertise, are different. Vincent Van Gogh looks at a landscape and is able to capture the wind. Through his paintings he gives us a feeling of sharp and precise movement. An agronomist observes the terraced vineyards of Trentino, Cinque Terre, Ischia, Pantelleria or Etna and goes beyond the simple aesthetic value of a repeated, symmetrical and perfect line. The expert knows that behind the harmony of the rows there is a meaning, there is the protection and conservation of that landscape, an obstacle to runoff and erosion, which would be inevitable without those terraces.
A landscape architect knows well that many Italian vineyards were, and still are, an important way of preventing the cementation without limits which occurred in the second post-war period. The Castelli Romani are a precise example.
Each profession, therefore, influences our judgment, even when it comes to defining a landscape. The same thing happens when an oenologist looks at a landscape, seeing more than aesthetic beauty. He tries to understand the potential of a place, and which appropriate strategies must be undertaken to obtain the best possible wine in that context.
Being a good winemaker is above all this: understanding a territory, studying its climate, soils, varieties, traditions and customs, imagining the best possible wine and trying to make choices that bring us closer to the image of wine type we hypothesized.
Fonte: R. Morlat et al. – Terroir viticole: De la recherche à la valorisation par le vigneron –
Journal International des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin 35 :21-33, January 2001
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