The vine-clad hills of Soave have been recognized as part of Italy’s historical and rural heritage
This Veronese D.O.C. is the first in Italy to obtain recognition from the National Observatory for the Rural Landscape and Traditional Agricultural Practices and Lore, set up by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.
A radical change of vision, highlighting man’s vital role in maintaining biodiversity and conserving the landscape.
Soave, Verona – Italy. Soave is the first D.O.C. in Italy to obtain recognition as a “rural landscape of historical interest” and thus become part of the “National Register of rural landscapes of historical interest and traditional agricultural practices and lore”, set up by Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry under ministerial decree no.17070 of 19th November 2012.
After having analysed 123 production zones in the Italian agricultural and food sector, and having considered 35 possible candidate areas, the National Observatory for the Rural Landscape and Traditional Agricultural Practices and Lore, set up under the same decree, accepted the candidacy of the Veronese denomination under the title “The Vine-Clad Hills of Soave”. Together with Conegliano Valdobbiadene and the Rural Park of the Apennine Countryside of Moscheta, Soave therefore enters in the register of landscapes that are considered part of Italy’s historical rural heritage.
The National Landscape Observatory, apart from conducting a census of the landscapes and traditional practices and lore that are considered to be of particular worth, promotes research to study the values linked to rural landscapes, their protection, management and planning, partly with the goal to preserve their bio-cultural diversity.
It also draws up the general principles and guidelines to safeguard and enhance the rural landscape, with particular reference to operations carried out under the terms of the EU’s common agricultural policy.
The historical and rural significance of the Soave production area is evident: within the historic Classico zone, 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) of notably diversified hillside vineyards have been identified that are cultivated using techniques belonging to the norms of heroic viticulture. Based on the Napoleonic land registry, the first map identifying the vineyards of Soave dates back to 1816. On this basis, Italy’s first denomination was established by royal decree in 1931. In this zone – which may be considered a non-urbanized island in the Veneto’s countryside – one can still find examples of historic architecture, roadside shrines, vine training systems such as the Pergola, and dry stone walls. There also productive vineyards that are over 100 years old and still cultivated for winemaking.
« This is a great result for the Soave denomination», remarks Aldo Lorenzoni, Director of the Producers’ Consortium, «which sees its primogeniture as a historic vine-growing region recognized at a national level. The Consortium, with the cooperation of Viviana Ferrario, tutor at the IUAV University in Venice, has played a leading role in this candidacy since 2006 when, with the publication of the volume entitled “Un paesaggio Soave” (“The exquisite landscape of Soave”). It in fact initiated a nationwide debate on the subject of historic landscapes and their protection. This accolade», Lorenzoni adds, «apart from highlighting the historical and unchanging importance of the zone’s natural environment, lays the foundations for a new approach (especially from legislators), to help redefine the instruments for supporting viticulture in areas in which conditions are similarly special and extreme. It is to be hoped that – in the very near future – it will be possible for vine-growers in hilly areas to have access to specific types of financial backing».
The National Register of rural landscapes of historical interest in fact introduces
a radical change of vision, which places man at the centre of the agricultural picture, no longer as a subject who unsettles the existing ecosystem with an intensive form of agriculture, but rather as a proactive player in maintaining biodiversity and conserving the landscape.
For the Consorzio del Soave, being a part of this register means working together with the Ministry to define “the significance, integrity and vulnerability” of the rural landscape, bearing in mind both a scientific evaluation and the importance of the communities and individuals who operate in this zone.
Consorzio Tutela Vini Soave e Recioto di Soave Press Office:
+39 328 4961031 – +39 045 7681578 – [email protected]