The vine and the hazelnut as elements of characterization of a terroir

The research examines how two characteristic cultivations of a territory like the vine and the hazelnut shape the identity of a unique terroir: Langhe (North West italy). 

The two cultivations are part of important agri-food chains for the analysed territory and its economy, while they also model its landscape. 

The vine represents a Universal Value rooted in the landscape modelled by the human work and in the culture of the place; part of this culture is the entire wine chain, which manifests itself through the presence of several settlement and architectural elements related to wine maturing and winemaking techniques. Therefore the wine landscape of Langhe is the result of a “wine tradition” which has been moving and evolving since ancient times, making up the centre of the socio-economic life of the territory. 

In this context the crop of hazelnut, which has always been present as a complementary element in the food tradition of the area, is knowing a new interest in recent decades, nurtured by the important confectionary sector developing in the territory and well known at an international level. 

The inquiry has been conducted through face-to-face interviews with a selected group of wineries and hazelnut producers. 

The research work emphasizes how the choices made by the winemakers and hazelnut producers of the territory are the key element for the preservation and transformation of the landscape, true intangible asset of the terroir, and continue to represent the main axis of its economic development. This is achieved by diminishing on the one hand the production of wine quantity in favour of wine quality, while encouraging on the other the conversion of the land less suitable for viticulture to hazelnut crop, which is giving true added value to the territory. 

 Authors: Alessio Marco LAZZARI (1), Danielle BORRA (1), Stefano MASSAGLIA (1) 

(1) Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari, Università di Torino, Largo Paolo Braccini 2,10095 Grugliasco (To),Italy 

Email: stefano.massaglia@unito.it 

Keywords: Barbaresco, Barbera, Barolo, Dolcetto, Hazelnut, Landscape, Langhe, Terroir, UNESCO 

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