Allegrini 2024

If the agriculture revolution starts with wine, it all starts with returning to the soil value

The message from the “Slow Wine Fair” (at BolognaFiere, February 25-27), featuring wineries and life stories from around the world

If wine aims to lead the revolution in agriculture, the stated goal of the “Slow Wine Coalition” and its Manifesto, and of the “Slow Wine Fair” (staged at Bolognafiere, February 25-27) - with more than 1,000 producers from all over the world, with stories that to wine, often, mix projects of social inclusion, of true, environmental and social sustainability, and of extreme viticulture - serves wine, as to agriculture, the awareness that everything starts from the “dark side” of the earth, to paraphrase Pink Floyd, the one that is least seen and least talked about that is the soil.
“Every day, in every corner of the planet, we are confronted with the feeling of hunger, therefore with food. We are confronted daily with agriculture, often without even realizing it. And with the earth, with the soil, with the life that resides in it. Because without fertility there is no agriculture and without agriculture there is no food. 95% of global food is produced from the soil, but not only that: the soil constitutes the largest natural carbon reservoir on the planet”, said, from Slow Wine Fair”, Slow Food Italy President Barbara Nappini, according to whom “the knots produced by decades of short-sightedness, in which agriculture was impoverished in every way, the political class did not care about the value and quality of food, and the way it was produced, and did not care about the living and working conditions of those who cultivate, especially in inland areas, which are still 70% of Italian territories, are coming to the brink. Reconstructing a correct relationship with the food system and with food passes through knowledge: this is why we consider the introduction of food education in schools as a curricular subject to be more urgent than ever; a food education that addresses the food system from the point of view of human and environmental health, but also with respect to production, from an ethical and identity point of view”.
A theme, this one, that is also dear to Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, who, as he leaves for Brussels, where tomorrow, February 26, a Council of Agriculture Ministers of the European Union of great importance will be on stage, given the protests that continue to animate the sector in many European countries, France first and foremost, and Italy included: “Slow Wine Fair puts sustainability, quality and community at the forefront. Values that Slow Food Italy has always emphasized through the enhancement of the relationship between man and nature and, therefore, agriculture. We must continue to pursue a model of development that aims to preserve adequate food production but without having to give up quality. A concept”, said Minister Lollobrigida, “that also passes through a fair remuneration of producers and which, in recent years, has had to cope with dramatic climatic conditions. Among products, wine is a family jewel, which is also often under attack. Wine is a key element in terms of production, export and environmental protection. It represents an element of conviviality that must be promoted and enhanced. The “Slow Wine Fair” is an event that combines the qualitative and environmental elements, a connection that also distinguishes other Slow Food events. An event that offers an opportunity to pursue the virtuous path that defends the values of food, labor and the environment and that can make our nation a point of reference”.
A growing and increasingly important event not only for Slow Wine and Slow Food, but also for the Bologna fair: “the event is taking on significant dimensions. Just think that more than 500 wineries had participated in the first edition. And despite the 1,000 exhibitors reached this year, we want to grow the event even further”, said Gianpiero Calzolari, president of BolognaFiere, “and Bologna is a candidate to become the reference point for the wine sector and for strategic reflection on sustainability. And with “Slow Wine Fair” we make protagonists of those who produce well, who make quality products and in a sustainable way. Here the public finds fine wines and professionals of great expertise. For these results we also have Ice to thank, with whom our relationship is becoming stronger. Together with trade fairs, Ice is working to strengthen them as an important part of the Italian economic system and to strengthen the country’s production districts”.
zIce, which, said Brunella Saccone, director of the Agribusiness Office of the agency for the internationalization of Italian companies, “participates in Slow Wine Fair with conviction, because at the basis of this fair there are values in which we recognize ourselves, such as food sovereignty understood as the safeguarding of agriculture, respect for traditions and sustainability, which puts organic at the center. It is an event with a deep sense of openness and comparison: there are more than 1,000 appointments already set with international buyers”.
Important numbers, no less than the messages from the event that are central to the future of agriculture. As evidenced by the large number of producers who have long made a clear choice, which goes in the direction of drastically reducing or completely eliminating synthetic chemicals. “There is no going back on the Green Deal”, highlights Maria Grazia Mammuccini, FederBio president. “We have to resist on the point of reaching 25% organic land by 2030. We must not reduce production, but find innovative ways to incentivize certain types of consumption, because to change the way we produce, we must first change the way we consume. The research, territorial identity and sustainability of the organic sector allow us to empower winemakers, territories and different varieties. Only through soil care will we be able to make the wine system more resilient to climate change”.
Of the necessary ecological transition, Stefano Bonaccini, president of the Emilia-Romagna Region, spoke: “Slow Wine Fair is a beautiful fair that gives a great opportunity to a certain kind of healthy and fair wine, and offers a great contribution to grape growing, production and environmental and ecological transition. Seeing so many producers here at the fair is good, especially because those that Slow Wine Fair puts out support that ecological transition that we sorely need quickly, without pitting environment and labor against each other. Emilia-Romagna boasts a European record in PDO and PGI production. We are talking about an attested value on food of 3.1 billion euros, which becomes 3.6 when added to the value of the 30 wine productions of controlled origin. We are one of the first regions in terms of wine production and especially in terms of cultivated area, so I think this helps the sector grow a lot. We are present at Slow Wine Fair with the Regional Enoteca, which for the made in Italy, so sought after in the world, is a further contribution that Italy can make from the point of view of exports and the attractiveness of our country”.
Reflections that come from the first day of Slow Wine Fair, where you can discover wines from all over the world from Japan to Argentina, where vineyards are born among cacti, to Turkey, where they also work on the recovery of ancient vines, passing through peculiar experiences from Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Czech Republic, San Marino, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa and Switzerland, without forgetting France, with lots of Burgundy, but not only, and Italy, with many wines to taste and stories to discover (from today, and in the coming days, articles and videos on WineNews and social channels).

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