The looming need for the world of wine is to create a direction to provide a homogeneous image of the product, enhancing it. The opinion of Marina Orlandi Contucci, Donna del Vino and owner of Colle Manora.

Climate change, EU regulations, the need to set up a protection consortium, production fragmentation: very current and complex issues affecting the wine sector and which are causing questions, uncertainties but also evolutions and renewal.

Marina Orlandi Contucci is the owner of Colle Manora, a winery immersed in Monferrato, an area recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site characterized by rolling hills covered in vineyards, interspersed with small villages and fascinating medieval castles.

Climate changes

In Monferrato, climate change and drought have had tangible impacts on the vineyards: “The first question we all ask ourselves concerns global warming” says Marina Orlandi Contucci, “It rained in Sicily but not here, it is incredible that it is the North that suffers more drought. I wonder if our productions will be the same, if the wine will evolve. When I went to South Africa four years ago, I took a tour of the Stellenbosch cellars and even then, many important producers who had the land went to climb the mountains to plant new vineyards. This demonstrates that it is a concrete and internationally felt issue”.

Viticulture and ecological transition

Another major theme concerns Europe and the package of strategic initiatives that invests viticulture and aims at the ecological transition: "The major world wine producers are still in Europe, France, Italy and Spain and vineyard surfaces are growing towards climates northernmost, in England in Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia” underlines Marina. “So I am surprised that this sector is not more than protected by the European Community. There are stakes that require impressive adjustments not so much in terms of production quality but in legislative terms. These adjustments pose problems for us and limit us greatly. We try to do our best, we do integrated agriculture, we are very attentive to the territory and therefore we want to be in line with what is required of us but we would also like more targeted and applicable projects to the sector".

In Monferrato viticulture constitutes the fulcrum of economic and social life and here Marina, together with Giorgio Schön, son of the well-known stylist Mila Schön, gave shape and substance to their dream, to their vision: to transform an old farmhouse into a modern and full of suggestions and passions that have the strength to range beyond the wine.

The need to create a protection consortium

The Monferrato area itself represents one of the local wine brands with the greatest potential for success but to capitalize on this potential to the fullest, according to Marina, “we need to form a team also supported by the institutions. If a Consortium were created aimed at helping to propose a homogeneous image, providing uniform reception criteria and also giving indications of qualitative "ranges", one would avoid fighting against a slightly faded image which I often find reflected in the commercial interlocutors foreigners".

“We should work with more confidence and certainty of our potential otherwise it becomes difficult to promote our territory and count it among the great producing regions. In Monferrato the production of wine is ancient and prior to the development of the late 1800s in other wine-growing areas of Piedmont which today have become better known thanks to the good work done over time”.

Fragmentation of the productive fabric

The need to create a system, to join forces collides with the extreme fragmentation of the productive fabric of Monferrato. For a medium-small company to achieve economic sustainability "It is a heroic undertaking, whoever succeeds is a hero in my eyes" underlines Marina.

“Those who do it must know that the vineyard does not produce for the first 3 years and it takes at least 5 years to have a reasonable product from a qualitative point of view” continues Marina, “The first 10 years you have to work on the product and on the brand and make a great side work to ensure that the time spent building an identity can somehow be rewarded in receiving a minimum of appreciation and visibility that will allow you to sell your production with a sufficient margin to stay on your feet".

A desire and a perspective that Marina would like to see realized through the establishment of a Consortium with the aim of harmonizing and enhancing this area rich in beauty and uniqueness: "We should coalesce, unite, give us guidelines, talk to the various Chambers of Commerce and with the Institutions that are fundamental, above all from the point of view of internationalisation. We could create wine roads where, for example, the visitor could follow a circuit and find homogeneous quality standards. It is important for identity, for defining places of production and denominations. I very much hope so."