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According to many, the opening of the European Union to “resistant” vines also for denomination wines is “an epochal turning point” for the sector which, like many other sectors, has to deal with a changing world and with fight against climate change, with all that that entails. But if many are in favor and see this as a very important opportunity, as explained to WineNews in recent days by Professor Attilio Scienza, professor of viticulture at the University of Milan and considered a luminary in the sector, there are also those who see a risk for the future in this. Such as the Biodistretto del Chianti association, led by Roberto Stucchi Prinetti, producer with Badia a Coltibuono, and which includes many important and historical realities of the Chianti Classico area, from Fontodi to Il Palagio, from Cafaggio to Castello d’Albola, from Conti Capponi to Felsina, from Dievole to Nittardi, from Lamole di Lamole to Villa Pomona, from Querciabella to Bibbiano, from Tolaini to Vignamaggio, to Castello di Meleto, to name a few.
“The news of the” green light “of the European Union and the introduction of the so-called” resistant “vines is a cause for alarm and concern for us – explains the association in a note sent to WineNews – and as Biodistretto del Chianti we feel called to intervene to clarify some essential aspects for us. The push to accelerate the introduction of “resistant” vines is explicitly justified by the consideration, expressed by Professor Scienza several times, that organic viticulture is a myth and not a reality. The reality is, instead, that of a continuous growth of the organic which in the Chianti Classico – write the producers of the Biodistretto del Chianti – has exceeded 50%. We are also well advanced in finding alternatives to copper and sulfur to prevent mildew and powdery mildew, so accelerating a massive introduction of “resistant” hybrid grape varieties right now is unwarranted. Instead, it would be correct to invest more in the search for different solutions, in line with the knowledge expressed by agroecology. On the contrary, authorizing “resistant” vines would have the effect of decreasing biodiversity by encouraging the planting of vineyards with low genetic variability.
The “resistance” of these varieties over time is still to be demonstrated: experience and agroecology indicate that there would be an important risk of development over time of resistant strains of fungal diseases. This would damage all winemakers in the long term in the face of a limited advantage that has yet to be demonstrated “.
According to the Biodistretto del Chianti, “particularly worrying, then, is the hypothesis of allowing its use in designations of origin: this would be a distortion of one of the fundamental added values ​​of designations and organic agriculture, namely territoriality. The heritage of genetic and clonal variability is to be preserved and enhanced, and shortcuts such as that represented by these hybrids must be avoided. The other extremely negative effect would be the push to extend the vineyard systems in unsuitable areas, which is really inappropriate and which would further weaken the small and medium-sized companies that are the backbone of the system and which should instead be encouraged “. In short, a road that just doesn’t like the Biodistretto del Chianti, which speaks through the voice of President Roberto Stucchi Prinetti. “As in other cases – writes the association – it is a shortcut that would favor the more aggressive viticulture from an environmental and social point of view. The call to accelerate the use of gene editing techniques such as NBT, techniques that have rightly been criticized by the organic associations for the risks they entail, is also very worrying. Organic viticulture directs crop choices towards territorial vocations and guides agronomic practices towards maintaining the fertility of the soil and the balance of the agro-ecosystem. This is the main road that must be followed and for this reason we ask to reject this push to accelerate the introduction of hybrids that could damage the most authentically innovative part of our viticulture “. The debate, as always, is open on an issue that will inevitably hold ground in the coming months, and which will be crucial for the future of the wine world.


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Marco Ribaudo

Marco Ribaudo

For the love of food and wine! Marco Ribaudo, Certified Sommelier, with 25 years in the food and beverage industry now invites you to join him in his latest adventure, the opening of la Cucina del Vino to share his culture and passion for creating unforgettable memories around the table.

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