A new symbol of the beautiful and worthy Italy, the alberello vine of Pantelleria, was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in Paris on November 26. For the first time, an agricultural practice is considered intangible cultural heritage: a wonderful recognition of its value and significance.
The alberello vine of Pantelleria, for its characteristics, is consecrated as a model of training to safeguard, promote, study. A type of cultivation, introduced by the Phoenicians, perfected and passed down through the centuries, capable of producing splendid fruits in extreme conditions. The island of Pantelleria is, in fact, characterized by constant wind (Bent-el-Rhia, “daughter of the wind” in Arabic), by lack of rainfall compensated by high humidity, for its difficult terrains on which masterful terraces have been made.
The Alberello Pantesco was born here, an agricultural practice defined by Professor Petrillo, in his report for submission to UNESCO, a ‘creative and sustainable’ practice and therefore worthy of this international recognition. Creative because founded on the ‘hollow’, the cradle dug in the soil to receive the vine, protect it from the wind, nourish it with the night-time humidity that is collected and not lost. Creative because the pruning system makes the plant grow horizontally and almost creeping along the ground, and therefore able to survive the constant wind that blows on the island. Sustainable because its cultivation is entirely manual, because the terraces sustained by dry stone walls delineate the landscape of Pantelleria and defend it from erosion.
A heroic viticulture that survives also thanks to the work of many producers, like us of Donnafugata, quality oriented, who have been devoting themselves to the island for years. Zibibbo is the grape of Passito di Pantelleria. A sweet wine with unique organoleptic characteristics, a precious wine that allows you to repay the effort and costs (3 times that of a Sicilian vineyard) of this viticulture that is founded on the Pantellerian low bush vine.
For the world of quality wine the inscription of the Alberello Pantesco on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is a homage to Zibibbo and to the vine cultivated with much love and much effort, but above all to Donnafugata’s flagship product: Ben Ryé (son of the wind) Passito di Pantelleria.