The Alberata aversana, the method of cultivation with which Drengot wines are produced, is officially nominated to become an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Campania.
The proposal, which arrived at the end of 2018, is another step forward in the unceasing work of safeguarding a centuries-old tradition, now in danger of extinction.
The Inventory of the Campania Intangible Cultural Heritage (IPIC) was created with the aim of cataloguing the intangible cultural heritage and traditional practices related to the traditions, knowledge and practices of the Campania community. It meets the definition given by the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of 17th October 2003, ratified by Italy with Law No. 167/2007.
The “heroic harvest” could soon become part of the IPIC.
The reason why the adjective “heroic” is used, is directly explained by the president of the Pro Loco Michele Autiero, who first put forward the proposal: “Heroic because the growers, with skill and mastery, can climb up to 15 meters high with the help of their own Scalillo – a long and narrow custom-built ladder. The rungs, in fact, are placed at a distance that allows the “Vilignatore” to fit the knee and have both hands free to pick the grapes. The harvested grapes are placed in a basket, called “Fescina”, conical in shape with pointed ends so that when it reaches the ground, it sticks into it and remains stable. This ancient technique allows the grapes to be harvested at partial maturation in such a way as to preserve the typical colour and degree of acidity that then characterises the freshness and acidity of the wine”.
What amplifies the value of the Aversa tree trellises is also the secularity of the vines. The “Vine Strain”, as the plant’s trunk is called, can reach extraordinary dimensions. This characteristic is essentially due to the age of the Asprinio vines. Some specimens, in fact, reach an average age of 100 years. In this way, the vine espoused to the
poplar trees becomes a real archaeological monument, direct testimony not only to the history of the territory, but also to the sacrifice and dedication of the hands that, over the years, have taken care of them.
The Heroic Harvest makes those lucky ones who witness it fall in love.
It takes place among the rows of the Alberata Aversana and is a feast that involves everyone. The few remaining expert growers climb up the very high branches of the vines, drawing sinuous, shapes moving in the sky similar to a thanksgiving dance for a prosperous and precious harvest.
The preservation and recognition of the importance of the Aversa tree trellises is the result of the commitment of various local actors who, over the years, have expressed their interest in the protection of this natural heritage. A first great goal was achieved, for example, on 9th May 2016, when the Regional Council of the Campania Region unanimously approved the law “Conservation and enhancement of Alberata Aversana and the vite maritata, the vines espoused to poplar trees”, which binds the land where the Aversa tree trellises are.
Enrolling the married vine in the IPIC is another important step to preserve an intangible cultural heritage that risks being forgotten, disappearing into thin air.
Drengot’s activity is based on the need to make a concrete contribution to the enhancement and protection of this heritage. Our wines, in fact, are produced using only Asprinio grapes grown fully respecting the most ancient traditions. Sacrifice, love for its roots, craftsmanship are the pillars on which the winery bases its business. A struggle against time and against the market laws that penalize the slowness and meticulousness of an exceptional and unrepeatable viticultural method.