Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Cliff vines and sea cellars: Italy wine region clings on  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 27/09/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) From the vineyards clinging to seaside cliffs to a unique cellar of bubbly wine stored on the seabed, the off the beaten track wine region of Liguria in northern Italy offers an array of spectacular sights.

But as he plucked grapes from his terraced vineyard at the end of harvest, Cesare Scorza said the traditions are in danger because of the higher cost of farming on 60-degree slopes and keeping stone walls intact.

Grape pickers made their way through the vineyard as if suspended between sky and sea, walking up and down wooden ladders and across along the walls.

The crates of juicy grapes are carried up the slopes on a special lift driven like a tractor along a monorail track -- one of dozens in this region.

"This type of farming is expensive," said Scorza, who has two hectares (five acres) in Manarola, a colourful clifftop village in the Cinque Terre National Park.

"The labourers cost more than in the valley and you are always having to repair the walls. There aren't many young people with a passion for this!"

Despite the difficulties of cultivation, Liguria was for centuries a flourishing wine region that supplied wealthy merchants in the nearby port of Genoa.

Mass transport eventually made wine from other regions like Piedmont or Tuscany much more competitive but fans say the sea breeze gives the Ligurian wines a distinctive taste that cannot be found elsewhere.

Ligurian producers have also managed to find an upmarket niche for the most prized products of the steep-slope vineyards like Sciacchetra, a dessert wine that can sell for upwards of 70 euros (90) a bottle.

One particularly imaginative local grower has even invented what he calls the "Wine of the Abyss".

Pierluigi Lugano, a former art history teacher, stores thousands of bottles of his wine at the bottom of the sea near the glamorous seaside town of Portofino -- and the unusual idea is proving wildly popular.

Lugano said the inspiration came from his interest in marine archaeology and the recovery of Roman amphoras from shipwrecks that still contained remains of wine or olive oil that had been preserved by the sea water.

"The darkness and constant temperature of 15 degrees are valuable and there are also conditions that you do not have in a normal cellar like the external pressure on the bottles which helps the perlage," Lugano said, referring to the bubbles created in the wine.

The twisting of the bottles to produce sparkling wine -- a process known as remuage -- occurs naturally due to sea currents and the absence of oxygen ensures a hermetic seal to help the wine mature, he said.

Bottles are stored in large cages on the seabed at a depth of 60 metres (197 feet) and Lugano even uses an actual shipwreck -- a 100-year-old yacht that once belonged to the Rotshchild banking family.

When they are brought out, the bottles are covered in molluscs and other sea life -- a distinctive characteristic that has helped attract customers.

"They look like something out of science fiction," he said.

Lugano started out in 2010 with 6,500 bottles under the sea, which has now increased to 15,000 bottles -- more than 10 percent of his annual production.

He now plans to expand further after this harvest.

It is a labour of love for Lugano, who said he hoped this type of initiative could help save seaside vineyards like his that are "at risk of extinction".

"The vineyard terraces have been gradually abandoned, older generations have not been replaced by younger ones. But I believe in recovery!" he said.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Oct 23 2014 - Kuwait- Equates wins two regional sustainability awardsKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait's EQUATE Petrochemical Company has won two regional sustainability awards in recognition for its social responsibility and national cadres' skills ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Moroccan horse showThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Moroccan horsemen perform during the 7th edition of the "Salon du Cheval" (horse show) in the port city of El Jadida. ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Kuwaiti Jazeera Airways net profit up 22.6 percent in Q3MENAFN
(MENAFN) Kuwait-based Al Jazeera Airways group announced it has registered USD28 million in net profit for the July-September period of this year, an increase by 22.6 percent compared to the same ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Qatar- Lekhwiya defeat Al Wakra, Wolves heldThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Lekhwiya defeated Al Wakra 2-0 at their home ground here yesterday while Al Sadd were held 1-1 by Al Sailiya.Vadimir Weiss scored in the 68th minute for Lekhwiya and Ahmed ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Ooredoo Kuwait net profit falls by almost half in Q3MENAFN
(MENAFN) Ooredoo Kuwait, the country's No.3 telecom operator by subscribers, announced that its net profit fell by nearly half during the July-September period, Gulf Business reported.The ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Coach asks Qatar to give it all against DPR KoreaThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar's coach Felix Sanchez Bas has called on his players to give their all one-last time ahead of today's AFC U-19 Championship final against three-time winners DPR Korea. ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Qatar- Handball: Doha gears up for Asian Club LeagueThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Defending champions Al Jaish - thanks to the draw - have managed to avoid a meeting with local opponents Lekhwiya and Al Gharafa in the group stage of the 17th Asian Clubs ...

 Oct 23 2014 - QIMC posts USD38.88m net profit in SeptemberMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company (QIMC) revealed the interim financial statements for the period ending in September 30, this year, QNA reported.The interim financial statements ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Qatar will deliver an impressive 2022 World Cup, says BrescianoThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Australian midfielder Mark Bresciano is confident that Qatar will deliver an 'impressive' World Cup eight years down the line.Bresciano, who has been playing for the last two ...

 Oct 23 2014 - Qatar- QP hosts team from Kuwait Oil CompanyThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Petroleum (QP) recently hosted a delegation from Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) who visited Qatar to gain insights on QP's marine activities and port operations.Mubarak ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help