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ViNO project: where are we?

We publish the interview carried out by Fondazione Cariplo to Chiara Vona, our responsible for the ViNO project:


Can you tell us something about the ViNO project?

ViNO is a concrete example of how it is possible to reconcile agricultural production with the maintenance of biodiversity and the quality of the landscape through concrete actions that in a short time can have significant effects. In particular, the wineries participating in the project support the idea that territory, biodiversity and landscape are all essential elements of wine production and that agriculture plays a key role in the conservation of these elements.


When is the idea born?

The idea is born, as often happens, by a meeting of people and skills.

The Oltrepò Pavese has a very high environmental value, which preserves an environment capable of hosting species and a high conservation value. Riccardo Falco, Mattia Brambilla and Mauro Belardi, the naturalists of our working group, have always been literally in love with this part of Lombardy and the choice to work on the vineyards has been almost obligatory. Giuseppe Bogliani, professor of the University of Pavia with whom we have been working for some time on ecological networks, has helped us to involve the territory; not only wineries, but also municipal administrations, which play a fundamental role in spreading a new culture of land use. Mayor Andrini of the Union of Lombard Municipalities of Tidone Pavese firmly believed in our vision and contributed to making it happen.


What is the project?

The project started in 2015 with a monitoring campaign in the field in order to have a scientifically reliable census of the species present in the study area for two target animal groups: birds and butterflies. The data we collected were handled statistically to evaluate the relationship between the presence of the species and the characteristics of vineyards. For instance, we found that bird species present in the vineyards are attracted by natural elements like shrubs, alternation of covered and uncovered areas and isolated trees.

Starting from these results, in agreement with a pilot group of 8 wineries we defined a list of actions that constitutes the Vineyard Management Protocol, which includes the maintenance of grassed and shrubby areas and the maintenance of isolated trees. The wineries supporting the Protocol firmly believe that a quality product is a consequence of a healthy and well-managed territory, as well as the preservation of biological diversity.


Where are we?

The project has been joined by eight companies already. Other companies sharing the desire to promote biodiversity in their vineyards can ask to participate by joining the new 2018 call. During the next spring new censuses will be carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the Protocol. There will also be organised  eno-naturalistic routes to make consumers aware of the incredible union between wine and nature on which we work.


How to participate?

Participating is very simple: just sending a form via email with some information about the company. Then we will contact those who have written to us.


Why participate?

First of all to support the idea that vineyards can be managed in ways that preserve those natural and artificail elements able to keep a healthy biodiversity and a distinctive landscape.

Furthermore, cultivating vineyards with a high environmental value can offer important opportunities to promote local wines and entering new markets and networks. During the course of 2018 different initiatives will be organized by us in this sense.


What will make the wines of the project recognizable?

Our logo speaks of us, a stylized bird in a bunch of grapes, to indicate the union our mission is based on. Companies joining the project can use the logo on all their products, including the bottle.