Wine glass on the table

Bonamico: let's discover something more

by The Winefathers

19/JUN/2016 in Projects


In Italy there are more than 300 autochthonous vines. Why in these days do we talk about Bonamico?

In Italy there are more than 300 autochthonous grape varieties. First of all, what do we mean with autochthonous? Let's have a look at the definition from Wikipedia:

"In biogeography, a species is defined as indigenous to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural process, with no human intervention. The term is equivalent to "native" in less scientific usage. Every natural organism (as opposed to a domesticated organism) has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as indigenous. Outside this native range, a species may be introduced by human activity; it is then referred to as an introduced species within the regions where it was anthropogenically introduced."

The autochthonous grape varieties were often in the past, and thanks to the economic boom and the logic of industrialization, forgotten. Both by winemakers, who have preferred to concentrate their investments on products with higher return, and by consumers. A treasure is going lost. If we consider for example our region - Friuli Venezia Giulia - vines such as PicolitSchioppettino or Ucelut are increasingly difficult to find.

In recent years, though, something happened. Some winemakers and wine lovers, often young, have started to think that losing these vines means losing a bit of our history and our culture, as well as unique wines, able to amaze even in the current globalized world. So, projects like the one from Il Calamaio recently launched on The Winefathers are born. Cinzia Tosini writes about this in ther blog Storie di persone:

"In Tuscany there is a red grape variety almost disappeared - the Bonamico - also called Giacomino in Pisa, Tinto in Pistoia, pink grapes or Durace in Florence. Well, there is an engineer-winemaker, Samuele Bianchi, who gave birth to the company Il Calamaio buying a land with abandoned vineyards. In this way he discovered this ancient vine that he is trying to preserve by reproducing the individual clones."

But who is this Bonamico? We find out a little more reading the Italian Vitis Database.

For example we find out that the Bonamico is cited as typical of Pisa and Lucca hills since the eighteenth century, but in the course of the twentieth century its cultivation has been gradually decreasing.

"Until the 70s of last century it was still quite widespread, and is currently available only sporadically in some old vineyards in the province of Pisa, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Grosseto and to a lesser extent, in the rest of Tuscany. In 1990 in Tuscany there were 63.58 ha, while the surface was reduced in 2000 to approximately 25 ha."

The Bonamico is vigorous and resistant, and gives origin to wines which may be of good quality. Clearly it needs care and it needs to be revisited in a contemporary way, but it can give harmonious wines of moderate alcoholic content.

This is the bet of Samuele from Il Calamaio, with his project "Let's save our good friend Bonamico". We know that Samuele, thanks to your support, will succeed.