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“Sanguis Jovis Summer School”: digital will change wine’s future by combining land and technology

Alberto Mattiacci: the new Sangiovese is “phygital”. Attilio Scienza: wine is not natural, because it does not exist without man

The word nature is quite often used incorrectly”, Attilio Scienza, one of the leading experts in viticulture, explained to WineNews. “Wine, as a matter of fact, cannot be called natural”, he continued, “and the European Union has forbidden it to be written on the bottles. There is, actually, no such thing as natural wine because the moment that man, thousands of years ago, domesticated plants and animals, they were no longer able to live alone, but had to live together with us. Man is obliged to reach out to them, help them, and defend them. The wild vine, or the wild strawberry or truffle in the woods can be called natural, while everything that man has cultivated is no longer natural. This is why we have chosen to investigate its true meaning, and to emphasize it, we shall compare it to the word “naturalness”. Naturalness means, for instance, in wine production, using the resources we find in nature, conserving them and knowledge, reducing the impact on the environment through zoning, using rootstocks that tolerate drought, and using varieties resistant to diseases, making wine aiming towards improvement, not intervention. Further, we must also know how to communicate it, which must be the basis of the marketing image”. The objective of the sixth edition of the “Sanguis Jovi Summer School” the Alta Scuola sul Sangiovese of the Banfi Foundation, is to reflect on the words of its president, Attilio Scienza. The school is the first permanent Study Center on the most cultivated vine in Italy, to increase and spread its culture in Italy and around the world, and will be returning to Montalcino (July 10-14th, Ocra-Officine Creative dell’Abitare), discussing the topic, “Sangiovese phygital: the impact of technology from vineyard to Metaverse”. The program has scheduled lectures, case studies, visits and direct comparisons with the main players of the course - including WineNews in the “faculty” of this edition - to explore the various ways that digitization will change the future of Sangiovese, combining land and technology.
Phygital” is a neologism “that comes from the combination of the words physical and digital, and is very popular in technology environments. It is a new reality and it is now impossible to separate where the physical world ends and the digital world begins, and vice versa. We have chosen it as the symbolic word of that “territory” where technology converges on wine in every stage of production, from land to space, from the glass to experiences related to its world”, Alberto Mattiacci, professor of Economics and Business Management at the Sapienza University of Rome and director of “Sanguis Jovis”, said, “and it will be used in all the aspects that interest us, such as production, precision agriculture and trade, thanks to guest lecturers who deal with all of this in various capacities and their various professions, from virtual reality to the management of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, precision agriculture, genomics and communication. We want to demonstrate that technology is a bit like electricity: it is everywhere”.
The mission of the “Sanguis Jovis” High School is to promote a new wine production culture and market, bring together science and practice, diversified scientific disciplines, teachers and students of various backgrounds, training the “professionals of Sangiovese” of the second millennium, giving them a solid preparation, open to the new and rich in reference cultures. “We have recently concluded selections of 12 students, new graduates, doctoral students and in university careers, and 10 professionals, who have come from the professional world, but not necessarily the wine world, plus the 2 winners of the Degree in Viticulture and Oenology dedicated to our colleagues “Rudy Buratti”, of the Edmund Mach Foundation of San Michele all’Adige, and “Alberto Lazzarino”, of the University of Turin, to participate in the “Summer School”, out of more than 80 highly qualified applicants - a very high number. It will be a mixed classroom, evidence of the growth and appeal of the project, including students from all over Italy, China and Greece”, Rodolfo Maralli, president of the Banfi Foundation, underlined to WineNews, “but also recognizing the neutral role of the Foundation, as an autonomous and independent point of view in research, high quality and professionalism. We will have a prestigious group of teachers, scholars, researchers and company managers, interdisciplinary at the highest level, participating in lessons on theory and experiences in the field”.

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