Allegrini 2018

The response to climate change in the vineyards in the study of the soil, roots and rootstocks

The message from “Terre di Frontiera” at Enovitis in Campo, in Borgo Tre Rose in Montepulciano, organized by UIV, to universities and businesses

“Terre di Frontiera”, the conference by Corriere Vinicolo held at Enovitis in Campo, the fair dedicated to technologies in the vineyard, organized by Unione Italiana Vini, in Borgo Tre Rose, at the Bertani Domains winery in the land of Nobile di Montepulciano, launched its message to universities and businesses. The message in short was the now universally consolidated awareness that climate change is undeniably underway, the growing conviction that wineries and producers have the tools to deal with it, the awareness that it is fundamental to consider looking to the future and to know better certain aspects that up to now, for many reasons, have been neglected or not thoroughly studied, such as the soil, the root system of the vine and rootstocks, so as to continue producing identifiable wines that are capable of combining environmental, social and economic sustainability, at the same time. “There are many reasons, including agronomic in nature”, underlined Professor Attilio Scienza, of the University of Milan, “that we are experiencing a reduction in vine planted areas, in Italy, and one of these is that for years we have not studied the soil and the root system of the vine, which are the brains of the plant”. Another neglected, but essential, element is the rootstock, pointed out Lucio Brancadoro, Professor of Agriculture at the University of Milan, “an element that regulates the phenological phases of plant life, the supply of water, and so on. In this regard, we substantially did nothing for over a century, until a few years ago. Therefore, if so many things have changed in wine, why remain anchored to genetic material of the past?” Soil and vines, therefore, are the only elements on which to act to “improve the quality of wine and viticulture, since the climate can no longer be trusted”, added Diego Tomasi, of Crea di Conegliano. The agronomist Edoardo Costantini (Accademia dei Georgofili) emphasized that soil “is a complex and dynamic ecological system, and viticulture of terroir signifies looking after a territory, not a plant”. All of these indications go in one direction, concluded Pedron, “there is a need for environmental, and also economic sustainability, because the books must balance at the end of the year. But we must use all the tools and the knowledge to produce grapes that are increasingly capable of being unique and typical, to be identifying and recognizable wines”.

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