In Valpolicella, as certainly is the case in other areas, land, work and wine are connected by an ancient, deep bond, with new characteristics and aspects, which are constructed slowly from one generation to the next, blending experience and science, tradition and creativity.
Here it is not enough to cultivate the land. The land has to be shaped and sculptured, creating terraces and slopes; it has to be retained by dry walls, which are designed to follow the general slope and the exposition to the sun. The dry walls (marogne) were developed in ancient time, as a natural process, from the mounds of stones collected from the clearing of the fields, day after day.
“Marogne” are a monument to the ecological expertise of our fathers: saving and restoring them helps us to keep in touch with old traditions, evolved along the centuries, and gives the right value to the experience acquired by our fathers in the effort to keep under control the land and with the aim of getting the best results without destroying the land’s vital flow.
The vital flow concerned every aspect of the land: the land was precious and could not be wasted. Every piece of land was used according to its vocation. A forest could furnish poles for the vineyard, acorns for pigs, leaves for feeding cows, strings to bind bundles. If converted to grass land, it could furnish chestnuts, walnuts, pears or apples.
In the same way every drop of water was precious, both the drinking water used in public fountains and the water used for irrigation and to power the mills. Every spring received the best care, it was almost nurtured; often a sacred image or a shrine was placed over a fountain for protection.
The sense of sacred sentiments was everywhere: from the road crossings marked by a monumental stone cross to the small olive wood crosses placed at the beginning of grapevine rows (filari), with the intention of saving them from hail storms or other misfortunes.