The last couple of years, several countries are developing rescue vines initiatives, and Palestine is one of those. We interviewed Ettore del Lupo, an agronomist-winemaker from Università Politecnica delle Marche that worked in Palestine.
¿What did you do in Palestine?
Since 2011 to 2013 I was in Palestine for a developing program about viticulture and oenology. Italian NGO V.I.S. ( Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo ) asked me to follow all jobs regarding project of new vineyards and recovery of all old half abandoned vineyards existing in the interested area. In the meanwhile, I’ve supervised a larger project regarding detection and selection of indigenous grape varietes showing oenological attitudes: most of autoctonous varietes are table grapes used, not really suitable for wine production. The research was planned with the collaboration of “Fondazione Edmund Mach “ from San Michele all’ Adige ( Italy ) and the Palestinian ministry of agriculture and University of Hebron. During my mission I was in charge to form and lead the local crew to vineyards management and supervise the ongoing research above mentioned. At the end of the mission I ‘ve in charge to form and introduce the Palestinian agronomist that had his studies in Italy, at “ FONDAZIONE EDMUND MACH”.
¿How your winemaker career has been developed. Where did you study and which wineries have worked?
I’ve gained University degree in Agronomy sciences at “ Università Politecnica delle Marche” in Ancona ( Italy ). During my studies I was involved in experimental researches about vineyards management: my experimental thesis was:” Influences of soil management in vineyard on mycorrhizal symbiosis: research on Montepulciano grafted on K5BB”. It was the beginning of my passion for vineyards and winemaking procedures. After university degree I’ve been selected to participate to a Master Degree in “Viticultural and oenology system management” at “Università di Milano”, faculty of agronomy. After Master degree, I’ve been employed in some reality as quality supervisor for grapes during harvest. Time of changes occurred in 2007 when an important local winemaker asked me to leave for India as his winemaker assistant at a local growing winery studing, also, a proper vineyard growing system according to the local climate condition. (2008 – 2009 ). In june 2009 the winemaker died in a car accident and Indian company had no money for further consultancy: the winery was closed.
Afer the shocking, mourning period ( the winemaker was a dear friend of mine and we were going to establish a permanent collaboration with Indian and Chinese wineries) and some consultancy in Italy, I had the opportunity to start again in California, where I worked during harvest season, in 2010 (Flowers Winery, Sonoma valley, California). After my return to Italy (December 2010) I was asked to collaborate for an Italian certification body control for organic production. My duty was about wine certification. During summer 2011, VIS coordinator contacted my because of my resume and asked the availability to follow harvest season at CREMISAN WINERY, supporting the local crew, studying the situation and suggest how to improve all procedures. In November they asked me to work for them. ( see point 1 ).
After my mission, during summer 2013 I was in Mexico for three months (Vinos del Marquese ) supporting the local crew to build and start up the new winery.
Actually I’m winemaker and viticulturist consultant at VINI DEL GOLFO s.r.l. (Vasto, Italy), consultant for development programs in Middle East.
¿Have you read about San Rosendo, where Malbec over 140 years old was found?
It is common, during last years, to speak and discuss about the importance of keeping biodiversity in our land and in our life, following that important law of life that is the respect of mother nature.
We know thousands of different Vitis sspp actually, existing and colonizing all land of the world. Only some of them are edible and genetically suitable to produce fruits oenologically interesting. A certain number are classified as “INTERNATIONAL VARIETES” and show attitude in producing high standards quality fruits and excellent wine in several area in the world. They have occupied the biggest area of interest in the world wine scenery but lately, something occurred.
People seem tired to drink the “giants verietes” and now is searching for something particular and typical. In several regions of the world this change of point of view pushed research centers to re discover and revaluate old and ancient autoctonous varietes to find “forgotten tastes”. San Rosendo could be the perfect example of this new era of wine.
Forgotten vineyards and substituted by other and most remunerative cultivations are now raising up, searching for a place in the crowded scenery of international Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, Malbec itself. A forgotten angle of Chile where some plants are kept alive by a passion of some old farmer could be the spot of a new typical wine. All this project can be a first step for a further wine production. Thinking about a wise winemaking philosophy pairing all modern techniques to a wise old tradition to make the wine unique and not duplicable in other contests. Market hints have to be found on only one step!! San Rosendo wine is made only from San Rosendo, and only with San Rosendo Certified and Original grapes. A proper production sheet has to be developed and published.