Sixteen selected journalists from the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany will gather in the Soave and Lessini Durello production area to explore the ‘volcano factor’ from soil to glass
Soave Consortium press release no. 13
The Soave Consortium is getting ready to host a group of sixteen journalists from Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany selected from amongst the most authoritative trade publications. The group’s visit will take place from 9 to 12 October, as part of the Heroes of Europe: Volcanic Agriculture (HEVA) international project.
During these three days of intense work, the journalists will have the opportunity to delve into the Italian region with white wines from volcanic soil, physically touch the soil, learn about its origins and understand the richness that characterises the wines and cheeses produced here: Soave, Lessini Durello and Monte Veronese.
This event has been planned in detail to give those present the chance to understand, in just a short time, the essence of this production area that is home to the Italian white wine region with volcanic soil: black, basaltic soils of evident volcanic origin that are the source of white wines that find their ultimate expression in Soave as far as still wines are concerned, whilst Lessini Durello is unparalleled for sparkling wines produced both using the Classic and Charmat methods.
‘The fundamental idea that guided us in planning the activities was to offer immersive experiences: we have a wonderful production area and we’re aiming to thrill and amaze the journalists who will be with us during these days,’ explains Soave Consortium director Igor Gladich. ‘HEVA is a demanding project that the Soave and Lessini Durello Consortia will be involved in for three years, which is enough time to be able to plan high-value activities that will be followed with the measurement of results’.
The HEVA project has restarted at full speed this year and includes numerous promotional activities, including taking part in ProWein, Cibus in Parma, Vinitaly, the Salone del Gusto held recently in Turin and the Merano Wine Festival.
Alongside these trade fairs and events, various masterclasses are also planned in the project’s target countries, with a focus on the press and industry professionals, especially.
This press trip represents the most significant high point of this project, as it will allow us to convey the heroic nature and quality of the region first-hand, in the production area itself, characteristics that distinguish Soave and Lessini Durello as white wines from volcanic soil.
After the experience in Soave, the journalists will head to Greece to discover the wines of Santorini, another region that is part of HEVA.
The volcano factor
The regions characterised by soils of volcanic origin are some of the most unique in the world.
They may be of ancient origin, as in the case of Soave and the Lessini Mountains, areas between the northern valleys of the provinces of Verona and Vicenza, where the volcanoes went extinct between 25 and 50 million years ago. They may also be more recent, such as Santorini, a Greek island that is part of the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. Whilst it emerged around 2 million years ago, the present-day land rests on a lava crust due to the massive eruption between 1627 BC and 1600 BC, known as the Minoan eruption of Thera, which produced a layer of lava rocks, ash and pumice at least 30 metres thick that covers the entire island.
Volcanic slopes are usually very difficult to cultivate due to the hardness of the rocks and the differences in height created by the volcano cone: these are the factors that make the vine growing in these regions ‘heroic’. Volcanic vine growing is often the result of centuries of work to shape the arable surfaces through impressive human terracing and tilling activity that has transformed these landscapes into real works of art.
The extraordinary heterogeneity of volcanic soils, and the incredible mineral contribution that the lava layers concentrate there, is certainly one of the key factors in interpreting the relationship that humans have always had with these regions. Volcanic soils are also particularly rich in phosphorous, magnesium and potassium, yielding natural products (and especially wines) characterised by a complexity and savoury richness that is difficult to achieve from other soils, and, in particular, great minerality, acidity and longevity.
The HEVA project
The HEVA, Heroes of Europe: Volcanic Agriculture project aims to develop the Soave, Soave Superiore, Lessini Durello, Santorini and Monte Veronese PDOs overseen by the Italian Soave and Recioto di Soave Consortium, Lessini Durello Consortium, the Greek consortium Union of Santorini Cooperatives – Santo Wines and the Monte Veronese Cheese Consortium.
The goal of Volcanic Agriculture of Europe is to promote, highlight and raise awareness amongst consumers of the extraordinary characteristics of a viticulture and dairy production whose distinctiveness is based on the volcanic origin of the soils. The different terroirs, even thousands of miles away from one another in some cases, have developed the same propensity for quality, based on similar pedoclimatic characteristics, geological history, exposure and altitude characteristics. These distinctive features found in the PDOs that have their origins in these areas are expressed in their natural tendency towards persistent flavours, pronounced minerality, longevity and an incredible complexity in terms of taste and aroma.