By Giampaolo Zuliani
A landscape of vineyards shows itself to the eyes of a careful observer as a complex variety of interactions between natural elements and those artificially created. The work that the farmer-winemaker has been carrying out for centuries (the anthropization of the place) has produced the set of factors needed to carry out cultivation practices, thereby creating interaction with the current natural principles. These, on the other hand, have been remodelled and, sometimes, their shapes have been respectfully redesigned, and their natural dispositions have been forced for practical needs.
The perceived whole is the result of this microcosm of work carried out throughout the centuries in order to govern and bring to fruition its natural components.
The natural elements as a whole are made up of direct and reflected light. Consider the presence of bodies of water that increase and reinforce the reflection of colours transferred by the light itself, of arboreal elements, of orographic trends, the position and morphology of the soil.
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The artificial elements are composed of structures placed on the ground, such as poles obtained with different materials (iron, steel, cement, wood), the tanks for mixing the products, the huts for storing tools. The perception of a place, composed as we have seen of natural and artificial elements and their internal relations, acquires further value due to the co-presence of those cultural and historical values evoked by the landscape.
Think of the charm evoked by a glimpse of the Tuscan countryside, but in the same way by a vineyard embedded between the steep slopes of the Val di Cembra (and we could make several examples both in Italy and abroad); the perception of natural and artificial in these cases increases, enhanced by elements of historical memory of the place and the people who lived there.
The perception of a particular place can evoke beauty when all the elements that compose it are pre-arranged into a harmonious whole without interruptions and do not disrupt an internal balance. The perception of balance between the parts is the result of a visual expectation that manifests itself in the act of understanding the place, and arises from the stratification of the elements of our cultural memory.
The beauty of a landscape is heightened in our eyes when people who live in close relationship with certain places guide us and lead us to understand it. The daily work in these realities, the persistence of contact over time with its most typical aspects, contribute to forming a deep understanding of the internal relationships between the elements of that landscape in the winemaker and the inhabitants of that place.