Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco D.O.C.G. Announces 2020 Viticultural Protocol
27 May, 2020
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The 2020 Viticultural Protocol: New Steps Forward for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.’s path toward sustainability
Presentation of the 2020 Edition of the Viticultural Protocol of the Producers’ Consortium for the Denomination
Solighetto, Italy May 2020 – In spite of the current crisis that has immobilized much of Italy’s economic fabric, nature has not come to a standstill, nor has the Consortium’s commitment to sustainable agriculture. It is in this spirit that the denomination recently presented the 10th edition of the Viticultural Protocol, the document that each year, proposes and promotes an increasingly scrupulous system for managing the vineyards which enhances the protection of the vines.
“This year we have produced the tenth edition of the Viticultural Protocol which, after the numerous goals we have set and attained – most recently the innovative and bold banning of glyphosate – is proceeding in an even more deliberate manner along the path of integrated pest management,” states Innocente Nardi, President of the Consortium. “In the last 10 years, the Consortium has been able to analyse various vineyard conditions with advanced technical instrumentation that is designed for our unique growing area. Moreover, thanks to the professionals who make up our technical staff, we can offer increasingly efficient support to our members in the management of their vineyards.”
Following its widespread appellation-wide ban on the use of glyphosate, effective as of 2019, and thanks to the cooperation with the municipal governments within the Denomination, Conegliano Valdobbiadene is the largest zone in Europe to manage vineyards without this herbicide. Today the Consortium continues its activities of scientific observation of the zone, analysis of the gathered data, and development of strategies to assist its growers, in order to develop an ever-greater commitment toward environmental sustainability. One of the key functions of the Viticultural Protocol is to put the farmers in a position to choose what methods to use for managing their vineyards – whether organic or not – based on the real needs of their vines and soils at any given moment. To do this, the Consortium has made available technological instruments for gathering data that constantly photograph and document the activity in the vineyards (using small weather stations, publishing agronomic bulletins for the members, etc.) The real-time condition of the vineyards is transmitted by the Consortium to the growers so that they can choose the most appropriate action (notably with the least environmental impact) to take onsite.
The Various Stages of the Viticultural Protocol
The first edition of the Viticultural Protocol was published in 2011, and since then it has gradually become a point of reference for the denomination’s members, as well as for grape growers elsewhere in Italy. It is the cornerstone of the sustainability activities of the Consorzio Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco D.O.C.G.
The Viticultural Protocol is a document aimed at the Consortium’s members to promote in the community of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene the importance of sustainability in the management of the vineyards. The Protocol is optional and the Consortium cannot intervene if its guidelines are not followed. Nevertheless, it is a policy that has also been positively received by local administrators.
The objective of the Viticultural Protocol is to gradually eliminate practices and chemical substances that are considered to have too great an impact on the environment – even if they are still permitted under Italian and European regulations – and, conversely promote potential, less invasive forms of agriculture, setting the stage for swifter progress toward sustainability.
The exclusion of amendments that contain the substances of Folpet, Mancozeb and Dithianon dates back to 2013, and the same was true in 2016 for various other substances that the current laws would have allowed.
2019 was the year in which the S.Q.N.P.I. (Sistema Qualità Nazionale Produzione Integrata) Certification project was launched for the growers in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco D.O.C.G. Denomination. This certification system takes into consideration all of the methods used in the production and defense of crops against adversities, works on reducing the use of synthetic chemical substances to a minimum in the vineyards, as well as regulating fertilization practices.
In order to obtain and maintain this certification, control activities have been put in place, such as numerous analyses of the grapes being grown, in order to ascertain the actual amount of use of chemical substances in the vineyard.
Certification has been seen as a great opportunity for the zone and for the individual growers. Many growers now understand the greater potential value of the product when it is certified. Forty of the member companies immediately joined the Consortium’s certification project, encompassing an area of 575 hectares. In addition, there are several viticultural estates and cooperatives that applied independently for certification.
All of the wine-producing and bottling companies may participate in the project, and thus have the possibility to use the bee logo on their products. Vine-growers may also take part and will be able to put up signs with the bee logo in their certified vineyards. All of the above, moreover, will be able to use the identifying logo of SQNPI certification on their websites, social media and publicity material. The Consortium is assisted by Valoritalia s.r.l. as its certifying body. Valoritalia is the leading company in Italy authorized by MiPAAF (Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies), for the control and certification of wines with Denomination of Origin. Since its establishment in 2009, Valoritalia has set itself the ambitious goal of contributing to the growth of the wine system, to guarantee to the consumer the quality and origin of the wine through the control of every stage of production, from the vineyard to the bottle.
About the Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G
The Consorzio di Tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is the private body, founded in 1962, that guarantees and controls adherence to the production regulations for D.O.C.G. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. The sparkling wines produced on the hillsides between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the Province of Treviso, obtained Denomination di Origin Controlled status in 1969 and the Denomination di Origin Controlled e Garantita in 2009. The production zone includes 15 municipal areas: Conegliano, San Vendemiano, Colle Umberto, Vittorio Veneto, Tarzo, Cison di Valmarino, San Pietro di Feletto, Refrontolo, Susegana, Pieve di Soligo, Farra di Soligo, Follina, Miane, Vidor, and Valdobbiadene. The Consortium, whose current President is Innocente Nardi, has its headquarters in the village of Solighetto in Pieve di Soligo. It groups together 182 sparkling wine producers and 427 vinifying companies. For the Denomination, this means that there are almost 3,500 local families involved in producing Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. It operates principally in three areas: protection and promotion of the product, both in Italy and abroad, encouraging knowledge of the product through educational activities, and the organization of events, as well as relations with the press. It also offers technical assistance to its members, from the vineyard to the winery.
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