By Enrico Zamboni

How does it feel to be President of the Italian Academy of Vine and Wine?
It is above all a great honor, since the Academy has a long tradition. It was established following a proposal by the National Wine Committee on 30 July 1949 and it then became a Moral Entity by a decree of 25 July 1952 signed by the then President of the Republic, Einaudi. Today the Academy is under the direct control of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.

Which contributions provided by the Academy under your guidance are you most proud of?
It is difficult to list them all, as the Academy organizes several annual conferences to discuss the problems of viticulture, oenology and the wine trade […]. Currently, we are working on a project to provide accurate information on the so-called “resistant” vines, because they represent a great opportunity. However, we are firmly convinced that they should be used with caution, since they risk ruining, so to speak, the image of our wines, which we decided to call “The Italian Way to Wine”. These are among many other initiatives that I am proud of, for one simple reason: everything that is organized by the Academy contributes to a single purpose, a fil rouge aimed at enhancing Italian wine.

Is the Academy carrying out or considering initiatives related to the importance of the landscape?
First of all, I would like to make a premise on the meaning of the term “landscape”, because it is often used as a synonym of “territory” or “environment”. In this regard, allow me to recall a work by Bruno Andreolli from 2007, which links the previous two terms with a political, institutional and ecological meaning, while attributing an aesthetic meaning to landscape, related to the sphere of perception. Therefore, this allows to extend the concept – so to speak – to the landscapes of the mind, which inevitably are also connected to wine. We are carrying out a series of initiatives that link the effect of a landscape on production. We also have a publication that demonstrates the clear correlation between harmony, order, the beauty of the landscape, and the quality of the wine produced.

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How can isolation be reconciled, in your opinion, with the beauty of the landscape in all its spring exuberance?
With a lot of pain, I wouldn’t know how to use another expression.

This whole story, in all likelihood, will lead people to review their scale of priorities and reevaluate concepts such as “essential”, “beauty”, “pleasure”. What role do the wine landscape and wine play in your life?
I would say they represented my life. Remember that the headquarters of the Academy are now in Conegliano, at the Experimental Institute for Viticulture, which I have directed for 31 years. You can imagine, therefore, how lucky I am to have dedicated my working and post-working life to something I love. Despite the fact that, until the age of 20, I was abstemious.

More and more attention is being paid to landscape: in 2000, a univocal definition was given in Europe. UNESCO has many heritage sites linked to landscape and now also to viticulture. Why, in your opinion?
The importance of landscape as an element of thought is, from my point of view, an extraordinary thing. The vine makes landscape an expression of human work and intelligence.

We can’t talk about landscape without talking about heroic viticulture. For years, the Academy has had a working group which focuses on the enhancement of this sector. What does heroic viticulture represent for the AIVV?
It is the maximum expression of human resourcefulness and love, because without love
nothing can be done. For years, the Academy has had a working group whose aim is to create a computerized wine list of mountain viticulture, in order to become an active part in institutional recognition and in the enhancement of products.


[su_box title=”What is the Italian Academy of Vine and Wine” style=”noise” box_color=”#5e0230″ title_color=”#fff”] The Italian Academy of Vine and Wine was established in Siena, following a proposal by the National Wine Committee, on July 30, 1949. It aims at creating a center capable of promoting the progress of Italian wine. Official recognition came with a decree of the President of the Republic Luigi Einaudi on July 25, 1952, when it was erected as a Moral
Entity. The Academy is subject to state control and operates exclusively in the wine sector with scientific, cultural and promotional purposes. It therefore constitutes an original example of a “specialized academy”, unique of its kind in the international field. [/su_box]

[su_box title=”Who is Antonio Calò?” style=”noise” box_color=”#5e0230″ title_color=”#fff”]
Currently President of the Italian Academy of Vine and Wine, he was Director of the
Experimental Institute for Viticulture from 1975 to 2007, Editor in chief of the “Journal
of Viticulture and Oenology”, Vice-President of the Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics; President of the Viticulture Commission of the O.I.V., President of UNASA – Union of
Italian Scientific Academies in Agriculture, and Professor of the Degree Course in Viticultural and Oenological Sciences and Technologies at the University of Padua, Conegliano Headquarters. He is author of over 370 works, mostly experimental, on viticulture history, ampelography, genetic improvement, ecology, cultivation technique and
viticulture physiology.[/su_box]