From the book “I SUOLI”
“Il Piacere di conoscere” (The pleasure of knowing) by Fabio Piccoli
When Marinella Camerani told me she wanted to start a zoning study in her business I wasn’t too surprised. I had known Marinella for a short time, but long enough to know her passion and dedication (she would describe it more frankly as sheer stubbornness). I simply commented that it was a very long and complex process and that for this reason very few wineries did it. And for sure none with fifteen hectares of vineyards. In fact, very few winery zonings have been made so far. Usually, this kind of study involve large areas, designations in their whole. Furthermore, in most cases they were macro-zonings, that is evaluations on a large scale of the relationship between terroir and types of wines. The study for Corte Sant’Alda, on the other hand, is meant to be a micro-zoning, that is, an evaluation of the role of variables in the vine-territory system.
Such variables have a direct influence on the fine chemical composition (prematurity, hydric equilibrium, vegetal-productive ratio, etc.). These variables are heavily conditioned by the kind of terroir and vary widely across the year (thermal and hydric variations). Therefore, micro-zoning allow to evaluate very precisely the relationship between the environment in its whole and in consideration of all its variables and the characterisation of the wines.
What drove Marinella Camerani to begin the long path to the zoning study of her winery?
This is a question that I asked myself right from the start and that could be addressed to all wineries in Italy, including the small ones, that might be considering the option of better knowing their reality.
Talking with Marinella I was glad to find out that the first reason that lead her to deepen the knowledge of her business was sheer pleasure. It might seem a strange thing, almost an anomaly. I guess that most people see a winery zoning as a tool to make better choices in the vineyard, and gather useful information to improve the wines. For Marinella, instead, these aspects are secondary. First of all comes knowledge for knowledge’s sake. It was a delight to watch her enthusing over a photo of her plots of land or reading the year’s weather reports. It seemed like she got a confirmation of her intuition from reading the results of her work. Thoughts that only winemakers have, through the direct, almost carnal, bond that they tie with the land and the plants.
This might seem an excessive statement to those who have little contact with winemakers. But it comes as no surprise to those, like me, who have been related to them for years, to find out that very often the intuitions of winemakers find a confirmation in scientific studies. I wasn’t surprised, then, that Marinella’s choice was based on a desire to know, like a basic need. I wouldn’t be surprised, either, if in the end, after gathering all the information, Marinella went on her way without letting herself be too influenced by the “scientific findings”.