Heroic winemaking : the Cinque Terre region , a UNESCO World Heritage site, backs its winemakers.

Wednesday January 22 2014 by Vitisphere

In Italy, they call it heroic winemaking. In France, its called steep slope viticulture. These vines which grow on steep hillsides, this vertical viticulture are easy to spot sights.

A small percentage of the global wine footprint, they are often of historical relevance, surprising, famous and…heroic : Hermitage, Côtes Rôties, Porto, Madère etc…

Located between Genova and La Spezia, 5 small villages (Cinque Terre) are nestled below steep cliffs overlooking the Mediterranée. Here grows a luxurious southern european vegetation.

Inhabitants have always culitvated vines, producing a unique wine, the « sciacchetra » made of Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino varietals.

This rough terroir translates into tedious winemaking, more like a battle with Nature. That is why this vignoble is constantly under threat of dissapearance.

This year the Natural Parc of the Cinque Terre is giving those winemakers who ask for it a great gift : vines and stones, both symbols and real requisites to maintain a terrasse-based wine production.

If presented with the required paperwork, all demands will be accepted by the Parc which will also monitor the works.

For many centuries, viticulture and tourism have been the economical engines of this one-of-a-kind region. The rebuilding and maintenance of the vignoble are key elements for preserving the environment and attractiveness of the region.

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