With this post we offer our best wishes to Elisa Marchetti, who was awarded a degree in Viticulture and Oenology by the University of Turin’s Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences Department on Thursday, 7 December.

With this degree, Elisa officially becomes part of the Macarini team, and will be particularly involved in management of the vineyards, a passion she has cultivated since she was small.   

Elisa, first of all, congratulations! Can you tell us how your passion for viticulture began?

I have been in love with vineyards since I was a child. I remember that when I was 5, I already wanted to work for the winery, among the rows. I have always felt a strong bond with my family’s history and the place where I was born. My parents have always supported this passion of mine, but they suggested I undertook a course of studies that was not limited to just wine.

What course did you undertake?

Following in my mother’s footsteps, I attended the Bra secondary school specialising in classical studies, and only later I became convinced to enrol in the Viticulture and Oenology faculty. Today I am extremely happy to have made this choice

What is it about the world of wine that fascinates you?

The indivisible tie between the land and the bottle, between nature and the end product.  I like spending days in the vineyard, in the open air, in close contact with the vines. The resistance of these extraordinary plants always amazes me. They are able to deal with the most extreme weather conditions, cold, scarcity of water and diseases. The vine adapts, and from season to season, offers us its best fruit

Your thesis was on a grapevine pathogen.

 Xylella Fastidiosa, a bacterium imported from the American continent, which has heavily infected olive groves in Puglia in recent years.  Xylella is able to infect the Californian grape, damaging the lymphatic system and killing the host.  My thesis sounds an alarm. Although there have not yet been cases of infection of European grapes, it could be a matter of time. In fact, it could possibly be latent in other plants, and climate change or a carrier insect could make it flare up. We have to carry on with studies and try to find solutions to this dangerous bacterium.

Are there new ideas or innovations you want to introduce into the company?

I would like to work experimentally on our pre-phylloxera Dolcetto vines in Berri. The vines are a hundred years old, and I would like to try to make them more vigorous with a technique called «layering». In practice, you bend and partially bury the fruiting cane of a mother-vine so that, with time, it develops into a new vine. However, when this plant develops it is not severed from the mother vine. In theory, plants obtained in this way should be stronger and more resistant. I will also preside over another important project. We will begin a scientific tasting of all the Barolo vintages available, comparing them against the improvements and agronomic changes in the vineyard – this will provide an overview of our actions and help us understand how to improve interventions to increase the quality of the wines.

What is your idea of wine?

I would like to succeed in making a wine that always reflects its terroir of origin, enhancing its natural varietal and territorial expression. I have learned numerous techniques for “modifying” wine and “adjusting” it in process, but I would almost like to forget them in favour of taking action in the vineyard. It is there that the quality of the wine is created and its identity respected. It’s true that this changes from year to year, but it is precisely this which makes wine an interesting, living product!

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