Monday, June 9, 2014
On the Road to the Agriturismo "La Pievuccia"
NM: On Wednesday, June 4th, we hiked to our first wine tasting of the month at the "La Pievuccia" Agriturismo. On the road to the Agriturismo we encountered several noteworthy horticulture practices, one of which I found particularly interesting. Dr. Lombardini lead us off the road into the edge of a small vineyard where a single large tree grew among the several concrete posts supporting the grapevines. The large tree is, in fact, a maple tree that was already utilized by the ancient Etruscans. Prior to the introduction of concrete as the support for the grapevines, the Etruscans in fact used the maple tree to allow for the grapevines to grow upward, in a practice known as "Testucchio." The age old practice of using the maple trees can be seen, although sparingly, all over Tuscany to this day, as in this location. The ancient Etruscan practice was so beyond its years that it only fell out of favor about 50 years ago. Among the miles (rather, kilometers) of vineyards that we have come across it is actually refreshing to see the more natural and environmentally pleasing sight of the "Testucchio" practice.