Le zonage viticole en Italie. État actuel et perspectives futures
Over the past few decades, viticultural research has made numerous contributions which have made it possible to better understand the behavior of the vine as well as its response to the conditions imposed on it by the environment and agronomic practices. However, these results have only rarely been used in the practical management of vineyards because the research has been carried out using partial experimental models where reality is only represented by a few factors which are sometimes even made more complex by the introduction of elements foreign to the existing situation and difficult to apply to production (varieties, methods of cultivation, management techniques, etc.). To these reasons, one could add a low popularization of the results obtained, as well as the difficulty of implementing scientific contributions, which does not allow the different production systems to fully express their potential. This limit of viticultural research can only be exceeded by the design of integrated projects designed directly on and for the territory. Indeed, only the integrated evaluation of a viticultural agro-system, which can be achieved through zoning, makes it possible to measure, or even attribute to each element of the system, the weight it exerts on the quality of the wine.
The purpose of zoning is, in fact, to produce information whose practical application in the short and long term is simple and possible. With this in mind, we can therefore recommend different levels of zoning which are the subject of studies of variable territorial extent (Fregoni, 1995) thus relying on different research methods (Falcetti, 1994).
The first possible level that can be defined of micro-zoning concerns the size of the farm (estate). This zoning should provide support for choosing the most effective business management techniques for each situation (choice of plant material, development of fertilization plans, identification of management techniques, etc.). This level of zoning, because it is carried out within the limits of an estate, does not have many repercussions on the territory. A survey carried out at this level does not necessarily require institutional skills (research institutes, local authorities, etc.) but it is exhausted within the framework of a private technical advice service (consulting).
We could call meso-zoning, on the other hand, the work that studies productive-administrative realities such as an appellation of origin. In this case, the zoning concerns a territory whose area is not very large (of the order of a few hundred or thousands of hectares) and can therefore use very detailed and effective analysis methods. Another advantage of meso-zoning is to refer to a well-defined interlocutor whose goal is to favor the development of a territory and all its products and not of a single farm. The zoning carried out on the scale of the vineyard of a cooperative cellar, quite frequent in the Italian wine panorama, falls into this category. These caves, the last level is that of macro-zoning, the aim of which is to study a broader geographical context, from the scale of a region to the community dimension (Riou, 1994). The practical repercussions of these zonings are not easy to identify because they are rather intended to study certain phenomena in a very general way, such as the distribution of a territory into a few homogeneous zones from a climatic point of view, or the comparison between the behavior of a few grape varieties in very different environments. What is lacking in the application of the results of such research is the detailed consideration of the variability of the territory which is very important in determining the oenological results of each region.
Issue: Terroir 1996
(1) Dip. Produzione Agricola ed Agroalimentare
Istituto Agrario San Michele all’Adige (Trento)
(2) Istituto di Coltivazioni Arboree – Université di Milano