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The Valpolicella grape resting method nominated as Intangible Heritage of Humanity

This ancient technique consists of a slow drying of the grapes, which, as soon as they are harvested, are placed on “arele” or reed mats

28, Oct 2022

About three years ago, the Consortium for the Protection of Valpolicella Wines in the Valpolicella area came up with the idea of nominating the grape-drying technique as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This ancient technique consists of a «slow drying of the grapes, which, as soon as they are harvested, are placed on “arele”, or marsh cane racks» explains Christian Marchesini, president of the Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini della Valpolicella and of the promoting committee. «This method fully reflects the cultural evolution of this territory and its people and its historical vocations. The local realities, in order to safeguard this precious tradition and to ensure the transmission of the relative knowledge to the new generations, have set up a Promoting Committee and have started the candidature process of the element in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the 2003 UNESCO Convention» continues Matteo Tedeschi, secretary of the Promoting Committee.

In April 2022, the Promoting Committee for the candidature as intangible cultural heritage was set up. It is the spokesperson for the Consortium for the Protection of Valpolicella Wines, as well as the community of the Snodar Confraternity, the Palio del Recioto, the University of Verona, the Valpolicella Foundation, the Valpolicella Wine Route and the Academy of Agriculture, Science and Letters of Verona.

The Committee is an organisation dedicated to animating the territory and raising public awareness on the subject of appassimento, collecting evidence and historical documentation to prove the ancient roots on which this technique is based. This grape-processing technique uniquely qualifies the wine produced in the Denomination area. Grape drying is a process of transformation that is strongly identifiable with Valpolicella, handed down from Roman times, from generation to generation, and today closely linked to the social and cultural fabric of this territory.

In synergy with the promoting committee, the Scientific Committee, an advisory body of expert anthropologists, oenologists and jurists with the task of activating the complex process of study, analysis and documentation of the Valpolicella grape drying technique, necessary for the drafting of the candidacy dossier, is also working on the candidacy.

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