Category_Magazine>Curiosità sul mondo del vino

What is sapling vine?

Uva bianca coltivata ad alberello

Ingenious is someone who is endowed with strength and acuity and uses them to solve difficulties brilliantly. Man knows it, having learned it from nature.
The history of the sapling vine can be summarized like this.

The winemakers of Pantelleria are certainly ingenious, and to cope with the arid climate of some areas of the island (one of the most magical places in Italy), they have been practicing sapling vine cultivation for thousands of years. In 82 square km of land.

In adverse environmental conditions, and with entirely manual cultivation of the vine, the Pantelleria winemakers produce Zibibbo di Pantelleria, a white wine with an unmistakable golden yellow colour, unique for its organoleptic characteristics : sweet and very fragrant, it evokes the colors and atmospheres of the Mediterranean . It is a grape from the Moscati family, very suitable for drying.

The sapling vines are grown as free-standing plants and planted in a hollow of about 20 cm to protect them from the wind. Kept at a small size (they are about 1 meter high) to exploit the humidity of the night and the few resources available in the soil, the small leaves of the vine allow water loss to be reduced to a minimum.

Since 26 November 2014, the cultivation of the aberello vine has been included in the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity , the first agricultural practice recognized as a heritage by UNESCO, voted unanimously by the commission meeting in Paris and described as follows:

The traditional cultivation of the sapling vine, which takes place in very harsh climatic conditions, is handed down through practical and oral instructions in local dialect by generations of vintners and farmers on the island of Pantelleria, where 5000 inhabitants cultivate small plots of land using sustainable methods.

The cultivation technique, quite complex, involves several phases and ends with the hand harvest during a ritual event that begins at the end of July. The rituals and celebrations that continue until September allow the local community to share this social practice, which identifies the inhabitants of Pantelleria as winemakers and encourages them to commit to preserving this practice.

This vine is the protagonist of the Pantelleria DOC denomination, whose absolute protagonist is the Passito di Pantelleria , which sees the grapes dried (on the vine and in the sun). The volcanic soil of the island gives the wine great complexity (perfumes from dates to dried figs, from sandalwood to dried flowers, up to hydrocarbon notes), structure and acidity.

It is a wine that absorbs the magic of the place in which it grows, a place of poignant and windy beauty, where sapling cultivation represents the essence of the balance between man and nature.

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