‘Stove’ columns Landscape

The image shows the vineyard terraced landscape located in Mombarone’s slope (Ivrea’s Morainic Amphitheatre, Piedmont, Italy), which is an important example of landscape co-evolved with rural communities and is in course of application to the National Register of Historical Rural Landscapes.

It is characterized by high qualitative typical vine productions recognized by two Denominations of Controlled Origin exported worldwide: DOC Carema (Slow Food presidium) and DOC Canavese. The main vine variety is Nebbiolo known with its synonymous of Picotendro, strongly linked with the territory. Winegrowers are mainly non-professionals. The landscape is characterized by elements of worldwide uniqueness related to the particular traditional vine breeding system: pergolas made with chestnut poles supported by stone columns. These columns have a double role: the support for the pergolas and the reduction of temperature range between day and night. Indeed, their stones warm
up during the day and release heat during the night. For this reason, they are called “stove columns”.

In the image it is possible to see the signs of the co-evolution between landscape and rural communities. Indeed, some dynamics of evolution are present: the introduction of new crops (olive growing dedicated to self-consumption) and new vine breading techniques (espalier in the lower part of the slope). They are the sign of the landscape’s dynamic evolution and concur to the terraces’ abandonment obstruction. Traditional landscape mosaic is well preserved with the presence of chestnut groves, important for their fruits and for their wood used to vine pergola’s poles production. Pastures and meadows underline the presence of livestock and complete the agricultural multifunctional system. Cultural identity and sense of place are demonstrated by many events dedicated to agriculture that involve rural community. The landscape is characterized by high social values and conserves all the historical features, exalted by the presence of the snow.

Rural landscape category:
- Food and livelihood security
- Agro-biodiversity
- Local and Traditional Knowledge Systems
- Cultures, Value Systems and Social Organisations
- Landscapes and Seascapes Features

Author(s): Enrico Pomatto
Photo Credit: Enrico Pomatto
Country: Italy

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