Allegrini 2018

The “Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene” UNESCO World Heritage,

The words of Carpenè Malvolti, Bisol, Villa Sandi, Adami, Nino Franco, Bortolomiol, Col Vetoraz, Canevel, Bacio della Luna and Bottega to WineNews
The Hills of Prosecco World Heritage Site

The pride of being protagonists of a land that has become a World Heritage Site, the awareness that much of the merit goes to those who cultivate those steep and steep vineyards for years, the belief that that landscape and that territory now need to be protected and enhanced even more, the hope that being even more under the eyes of the world will help the whole territory to be even more aware of how important it is to invest in all that is sustainable, but also in quality hospitality, the desire to affirm even more that this is the territory where there is history, the origin of everything, and where Prosecco is Superiore: there is all this in the words of historical and representative producers of the “Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene” , from a few days recently joined the Italian sites registered in the Unesco World Heritage List, which are now 55. Producers and entrepreneurs, interviewed by WineNews, who lead realities such as Carpenè Malvolti, from which the story started, Bisol, Villa Sandi, Adami, Nino Franco, Bortolomiol, Col Vetoraz, Canevel (Masi Agricola), Bacio Della Luna and Bottega, all with a broken voice from the enthusiasm for a recognition chased for a long time, and finally arrived, which now marks a new starting point for the Venetian territory.

“It is a recognition of which we still have to understand the importance - stresses Domenico Scimone, at the helm of the historic Carpenè Malvolti - this territory becomes a World Heritage Site. This recognition comes after 151 years since a man, who is our founder, Antonio Carpenè, believed in this territory. In 1853 there was only one hectare of vineyards, now there are 8,000, is an invaluable value, because it is the result of the idea of those who a century and a half ago convinced farmers to no longer grow corn but vines, and today they reap the value, not just economic. Then there is the impact on all the induced activities, what can be expected throughout the territory in terms of wine tourism, and then we hope that the whole economy of Prosecco Superiore Docg benefits and is appreciated more, and above all we can distinguish more and more the intrinsic value of Prosecco Superiore Docg compared to Prosecco Doc, which cannot achieve as much value as the high quality that comes from the raw material, which is the Glera, which grows on the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. It is a recognition that must be an incentive - stresses Scimone - because in 6 years the UNESCO inspectors will return to assess whether what was awarded today has been preserved and improved. In addition to being a motivation to direct us on the path of growth of values, rather than that of volume, as has been done so far”.

“For me, UNESCO recognition is as important a step as the birth of the DOC in 1969 and the transition to DOCG in 2009 - says Franco Adami, at the head of Adami, and president of the Consortium of Conegliano Valdobbiadene when the idea was born to nominate the territory as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and it means recognizing that several generations of winemakers have painted extraordinary landscape incredibly suited to viticulture and the quality of the Glera, and that it is the anthropization that has made the beauty of the territory. When one becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the task is to maintain the conditions, therefore over time, one must not change what has been built in these 100 years. I suppose there will be a supra-municipal land management committee, which will give rise to conditions, whereby the landscape cannot be changed, but it must be worked on as it has been up to now. The relapses? The beauty of the landscape, together with the intrinsic quality of the wine, increases the perception of quality, there are studies that prove it. The Unesco recognition is a truly extraordinary step. As someone has written, it is not Prosecco that has become a UNESCO World Heritage site, but a territory that goes from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene embraces this denomination. And the Prosecco produced in it represents the most historical, most vocated part, which created the conditions for Prosecco to become a phenomenon in the world, but I add the part in which Prosecco is superior, and the best that there can be. The bottles produced here are 90 million, there are 3,000 winegrowers who have small plots, mostly handmade, and this is what paints the landscape. Unesco can lead to a more precise identification of the Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, because there is still some confusion, while now it is even better to identify a geographical area that if we want is also small, compared to the Prosecco world that is much larger. And we certainly expect it to be even more visited because the curiosity to understand, see and know will certainly increase”.
“It is a great opportunity for this territory to be even better known in the world - says Giancarlo Moretti Polegato, at the helm of the Villa Sandi brand - and we must think immediately about the future. We have always believed in it, both in Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which enclose the historic area and in the great “cru” of Cartizze, 107 hectares that are the excellence of excellence. We must be careful and work, because the million more tourists that are expected, now, do not become a boomerang: we must prepare, offer adequate hospitality and level. We have invested in it for some time, with our Locanda Santi and the Filanda, we have renovated the Rivetta, on the hill of Cartizze, the smallest resort in the world - jokes Polegato - with one room, and not only. Our territory has always been the garden of Venice, and we will be even more so, and we must invest in this. Above all by recovering and restoring our historical structures, our farmhouses, also because they will not be allowed to cast concrete, and here the visitor must look for our typicality, not the big hotels”.
“It’s a great result, and for us the support of a strategy always based on quality - explains Gianluca Bisol of the Bisol brand (now under the control of the Lunelli family, ed.) - our Prosecco Docg is the most present in the maps of the stars of the world, but we felt a gap between the perception of the territory and our efforts at positioning, and this allows us to consolidate our work even more. However, it is a recognition that will have positive effects, such as a greater sensitivity to beauty, and the sense of responsibility of producers and the population, we must invest more and more in hospitality through attention to quality and environmental sustainability”.

“It is an important result for the territory of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene - added again Primo Franco, at the helm of the centenary Nino Franco - it means that we have done well until now, and so we must continue, doing even better. What I would like to underline is that the “Hills of Prosecco di Conegliano and Valdobbiadene” have become UNESCO World Heritage sites, and this enhances the link between the territory and the work of man and the name of the wine. This is the strength of our family, we expect a big impact on wine tourism, and then on the market”. “It is a great satisfaction, the work done to date has led to this goal, the work of the generations that have preceded us, as my father - explains Elvira Bortolomiol, at the helm of Bortolomiol - is a vision of the territory that starts from far away. Now there is even more incentive to continue along this path, to protect the hills from all that is not sustainable agriculture, with projects that will go in this direction. It will be easier to enhance a product like Prosecco Superiore, which often still has problems of poor recognition, and this will also help in terms of the added value of wine and bottles. Of course, we have to work hard: all the wineries are preparing to welcome tourists and wine lovers, not only in their own facilities. Wine tourism is a very important sector, and perhaps our hills are not so accustomed, it is a territory with a “reserved” character, made up of small realities of farmers, owners of small plots, but it is an incentive to look to the future”.
“Becoming a Unesco heritage site for this territory is the recognition that rewards the work of men who for hundreds of years have cultivated the vine in very difficult conditions and with unthinkable slopes, and that tells us that this territory must be protected, even more, safeguarded and valued. Obviously, it will have an impact on wine tourism, and the territory must be good at providing adequate hospitality to the level of demand,” adds Loris Dall’Acqua, winemaker and partner of Col Vetoraz.

“We welcomed this amazing news and congratulated the Veneto region and, first of all, President Zaia. The Masi Foundation for 38 years, through its Award, values the Venetian Civilization: culture, tradition, vine, wine, and territory represent the values that make Veneto one of the most popular and prestigious areas in the world and that find in this award the deserved identification. A pride for the producers and an incentive to progress in the preservation of the landscape and the high quality and originality of the products,” said Sandro Boscaini, at the helm of Masi Agricola, which a few years ago acquired the majority of the Canevel winery.

“We are delighted that the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our winery and all those who work there daily are full expressions of the values that UNESCO has recognized to be present in these areas: since time immemorial every single step of the process of selection and production in the vineyard, as well as the harvest, is made by hand, always in perfect harmony with the territory,” added Roberta Deflorian, director of Bacio Della Luca, a winery that is part of the Schenk Group.

“The hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene are a territory of great beauty and would certainly have deserved to have received such a prestigious recognition earlier. The whole world of Prosecco will benefit - comments Sandro Bottega, president of Bottega Spa - and this consideration exceeds all others. Producers who have worked with hard work and sacrifice with the sole objective of quality, in the vineyard, in the cellar, and on the market, will certainly be rewarded. I’m sorry, however, to think that it will also reward those who have trailed and played over the years on a downward quality. Precisely at this time of widespread satisfaction, quality producers must be protected, creating stricter tasting commissions, limiting yields per hectare and effectively adapting the quality level to the standards imposed by the Consortium. The recent ban on the use of glyphosate in the vineyard represents a milestone in the sign of respect for the territory and health”.

Words from which emerges a unity of vision on the part of large and small wineries, from historic producers who have recently arrived in the area, which can only give hope for the future of the “Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The World Heritage Committee awarded the prize because “it has recognized the extraordinary universal value of the “Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene” and has highlighted how the protection of the rural landscape is guaranteed in particular by the production rules of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg, which promotes the maintenance of vineyards, the edges and other fundamental characteristics for the conservation of local traditions - reads the UNESCO portal - and the protection of biodiversity and associated ecosystems. The area is characterized by hilly ridges, edges (small vineyards on terraces), forests, villages, and cultivations. For centuries, these rough soils have been shaped and adapted by man and since the 17th century, the use of the edge has created a chequered landscape made up of rows of vines parallel and vertical to the slopes. In the nineteenth century, the technique of “bellussera” (a system of cultivation of vines arranged in a radial pattern thanks to the support of wooden poles connected to each other) contributed to the aesthetic characteristics of the landscape.

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