Sangiovese, Lambrusco, and Other Vine Stories
Behind the cultivation of grape vines and their fruits’ fermented juice lies a history of peoples who worked the land, transformed the landscape, produced and traded wines, thus forging local and global communities. In this book, vine geneticists and experts Attilio Scienza and Serena Imazio reconstruct the lineage of wine: using DNA analysis, archeology, anthropology, myth, and literary sources, they discuss the origin and ancestry of vines such as Sangiovese, Ribolla, Primitivo, and the many Moscato, Malvasia, and Lambrusco grapes. Chapters also cover more widely planted varieties such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot, as well as the impact of the phylloxera epidemic in the nineteenth century. In a scientific yet accessible way, Lambrusco, Sangiovese, and Other Vine Stories illuminates the complex interaction between human communities and vines, in a journey which will reveal riveting stories of migration, conquest, exploration, and cross-cultural exchange.
“Sweeping in its scope, but retaining the intimacy of a personal anecdote, this book is a must for anyone who would seek to truly know Italian wine.”
Sarah Heller MW, Proprietor, Radix
“Attilio Scienza and Serena Imazio share with us a series of most exciting real stories about grapes travelling and transforming landscapes. Their angle—solidly based upon science and knowledge, with as much global perspective as depth—is unique. They are like this book’s grapes, well traveled and exceptional. Thank you for these hours of intellectual enjoyment!”
Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW, International Wine Judge
“For decades, Attilio Scienza has stimulated and energized the production sector of the agronomic and enological world. I don’t think we would have reached today’s results without his scientific commitment. Even now, every time I meet him, I always feel the excitement and reverence of a student. Thank you Professor Scienza!”
Lamberto Frescobaldi, President, Marchesi Frescobaldi
Attilio Scienza is Full Professor at the University of Milan, where he taught genetic improvement of the grapevine. His research interests include the genetic improvement of grape varieties and rootstocks by crossbreeding and clonal selection, the appraisal of old vines, and the study of interactions between the vine and the environment to enhance wine quality. He also worked on the preservation and enhancement of the Georgian germplasm. He is the author of 350 scientific publications and 15 books—both academic and of wider appeal—on topics related to the description of grape varieties as well as their relationship with the environment and historical origin. He also serves as the Chief Scientist of the Vinitaly International Academy, wine education provider specialized in teaching the diversity of Italian wine to international professionals.
After completing her degree in Biology in 2000, Serena Imazio begins her extraordinary journey into the wine world by pursuing doctoral studies on the origin and genetics of the grapevine. After her doctorate, she worked as a researcher at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and at the Centro di Trasferimento Tecnologico dell’Emilia Romagna, where she started to get in touch with the world of communication and scientific dissemination of knowledge to wider audiences. She considers herself very lucky since she managed to turn her unabashed curiosity for all things science and her love for the wine world into a fantastic job.