Monday, June 6, 2016

A Marriage in Tuscany (A walk around town)

After hearing about the lost art of marrying grape vines to maple trees, we stumbled upon an older gentleman that invited us into his yard to examine some of the plants that he was growing. We had been exploring the Tuscan countryside and all the different species of plants after our lecture on the 25th of May. When entering the small garden space there it was. One of the oldest techniques used in growing grapes. The maple tree with the grapevine growing up and around the trunk and up into the leaves. It was something we hadn’t expected, but seeing it firsthand was something special. 

The technique dates back to the Etruscans, which is around 700 BC and was used up until the 1960's. The technique was used before trellises were created. In Latin the term is called Arbustum gallicum or Rumpotinetum, and in Italian it is referred to as Vite maritata (married grapevine). The purpose of the tree was to provide support for the grape vine, as well and protection from the weather. After some further research I found that the maple tree also provided the grapevine resistance from a specific mite. 

The maple tree and grapevine also has a symbolic meaning relating to marriage between man and woman. The maple tree represents the groom. He is to support and protect his wife during their relationship. The grapevine represents the bride. She is to cling to her husband and stand by him at all times. The two must work together to for the marriage to flourish. I don’t think there is a better representation of marriage. One day, I hope to find my maple tree in this world. 


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