5TERRE low pergola

The wine landscape of Cinqueterre, in the Ligurian Eastern Riviera, listed in the Unesco world heritage and Italian National Park, is still marked by a trend of abandonment, causing its degradation. From the homogeneous landscape of vineyards on dry stone terraces, from the crest to the sea, we can observe today a varied mosaic where only some vineyards are present, surrounded by abandoned ones, with growth of brambles, shrubs and expansion of the pine forest. The maintenance of agriculture here means to take care of the dry-stone walls, to protect the traditional cultivation, to preserve the culture of wine making of the community that built such an impressive place with a severe collective effort. In the traditional cultivation system, the vine plants are folded, supported by several series of wooden poles, forming a sort of inclined canopy, which always remains lower than the wall of the upper band, to protect the vineyard from sea winds.

Young wine-makers need to be encouraged to maintain the heroic cultivation in a fragile historic terraced landscape. They transform the vineyards, changing the low pergola system into rows of vines, easier to be cared. Low pergolas ask a very hard work to be maintained. Learning from tradition, some sensible producers tried to compare the different cultivation systems, giving life to a recent debate about their utility. Some evidence shows that the traditional low pergola can give the best expression to a particular variety of wine grapes, to produce nice Cinqueterre Doc wine, thanks to the shading effect, able to reduce the impact of sun and hot, lengthening the ripening of the fruit. A smart interpretation of cultural tradition can improve the production: in this way a bottle of wine becomes a real testimonial of a man-made high value landscape.

Rural landscape category:
- Local and Traditional Knowledge Systems

Author(s): Adriana GHERSI
Photo Credit: Adriana GHERSI
Country: Italy

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