Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Vines are growing in Pompeii to reach 5.8 hectares of vineyards in the ancient city and other locations

While the wine world is considering a DOC Campania, the Archaeological Park is regenerating one of the most fertile territories from ancient times

Creating “DOC” Campania to act as an umbrella for all the territories, including the existing 19 PDO and 10 PGI Campania Region wines, would definitely improve their perception on the markets. It is just as complicated to compare the Consortiums, wine companies and the Region, and the diversity of the territories, but it is an open discussion, and it could be the way to strengthen the brand of a Region whose name is not well known as yet, but all the while has “profited” from its tourist sites that are some of the best known and most visited in the world, such as the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii, that by themselves represent very strong brands. In the meantime, the Pompeii Archaeological Park is aiming, “to produce” a Pompeii wine capturing archeology, culture and agriculture in the bottle, which will be the “flagship” of a real Pompeii Agricultural Company, in partnership with a private company collaborating in cultivating the “vines of the ancient Romans” and planting new ones. The goal is to reach a total 5.8 hectares of vineyards between the ancient city and the other locations - currently, there are 1.7 hectares - enhancing the heritage of biodiversity and regenerating one of the most fertile territories existing since ancient times, as well as becoming a rural tourism destination, which is a growing trend. Either way it is excellent, but of course even better if the two follow the same direction. “Campania Felix”, as Pliny the Elder described it, land of viticulture and ancient flavors, is now one of the most important food and wine reserves in Italy - for its easily recognizable products as well as its Michelin stars - whose goal is to create synergy in a "district" perspective, confirming that wine and food are an extraordinary testimonial when linked to the symbols of cultural heritage, evoking and narrating the beauty of our Country.
Whether or not Campania is ready for a regional DOC “is still a very open question. It is a complicated subject, like wine in Campania, which is very different in its various territories and the structures of its production areas. The subject, however, is fascinating to us”, Ilaria Petitto, vice president of the Consorzio Vini d’Irpinia, told WineNews, “the Consortium is discussing the issue with the wine companies, other wine Consortiums in Campania and the Region, because we are in favor of creating a Regional brand, but it is still on an uphill road. We need to know how to protect vines and historic denominations such as Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo and Taurasi, in Irpinia, as they are well known abroad and this creates skepticism among the producers. We are often aware that Campania is still a not very well known name, so the Regional brand could be the road to take as well as an all around added value to all of the excellent food and wine products. However, it must enhance all the territories and not penalize any. I believe that the big gap is because we don’t know how to communicate. We are paying the price of having areas that are so well known abroad that they have become very strong brands, such as Pompeii, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Plus, we have always lived off our tourist sites that are among the most visited in the world. We have said very little about our land territories, which are no less authentic and extraordinary, such as Irpinia, and are comparable to Piedmont or Tuscany. Those Regions know how to communicate and have attracted visitors and journalists, which is the most important thing to do, that is, get people to come and then they in turn will tell other people. But, we’re working on it”.
The Archaeological Park of Pompeii, in the new green heritage management of the excavations, is working towards finding a private partner among the companies that collaborate in the Pompeii Agricultural Company program, to grow this side of the Park as well. The project, “launched a few years ago, planned regenerating over 60 hectares of abandoned agricultural land around the ancient city, with viticulture, olive growing, cereal production, fruit and vegetable farming, animal husbandry and floriculture”, Paolo Mighetto, Managing Director of the green areas of the Archaeological Park, explained to WineNews, “and where the vineyard now covers 1.7 hectares in the ancient city, until a few years ago licensed out. But, now this seems an outdated procedure to us, because it means assigning an area to someone else and, almost, getting rid of it, while the Park itself, instead, wants to take care of it. This is why we have decided to transform into a partnership and are looking for a technologically advanced partner, sensitive to our issues which are biologic, biodiversity and sustainability, and crop mixing. We have adopted the ancient cultivation techniques that studying archeology and the ancient texts of Pliny or Columella have given us, instructing us how the vine was grown in Pompeii”. “This year we will be regenerating the current hectares and will be adding another 1.5 hectares, to reach a total of 5.8 hectares between Pompeii and the other Park locations, such as Stabiae, Oplontis, Boscoreale and Longola”, Mighetto continued. “At Vivaio di Pompei, the research and regenerative center of the Azienda Agricola program, we will experiment with vines as we have done with the cuttings of ancient Georgian vines, to set up a new experimental vineyard within the ancient site. In past years, a selection of ancient vines had already been made, from Piedirosso, Caprettone, Fiano, Coda di Volpe and Greco di Tufo, certified in these areas until the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, which will allow us to make varietal wine, if possible. Our new program, as a matter of fact, provides that wine production will be conducted within the Park, from the grape bunches to the bottle, including refinement and aging, which is the big news. Our dream is that the wine will come from the Casa Europa or Foro Boario vineyards, almost as if they were Crus from an “archaeological zoning”. In the next few days, when we sign the decree, we will also communicate the company that won the contract, celebrating the new harvest at Casa del Triclinio where the grape harvest takes place every year in Pompeii. Our goal is to reactivate a territory that was one of the most futile in ancient times, and it still is”.

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