The restoration of the terraced Landscape of Lamole

Lamole lies in the municipality of Greve in Chianti, in the province of Florence. The landscape is characterized by dry stone terraces on which vines and olive trees are cultivated. The word Lamole comes from the latin word lamulae, cio√® blades of terrain, shelves,  suggesting that the presence of terraces dates back to many centuries ago. This place is well known for high quality wine production since nineteenth century, as Repetti wrote about the "buon vino cotanto lodato" (good and so famous wine).

Until the '60s of the twentieth century the landscape of Lamole was characterized by mixed cultivations on terraces, small olive groves and rows of vines alternated with rows of olive trees. With the spread of specialized vineyards in the 70s, many terraces were removed for the new vineyards with the rows planted parallel to the lines of maximum slope, more easely mechanized and less expensive. Over the years, however, it was realized that the quality of the wine was not the same than in the past. Specific studies came to the conclusion that the reason was to be found precisely in the elimination of the terraces. In particular, the rows of the modern vineyards were planted orthogonally respect to those on the terraces, and then they receive the rays of the sun in a completely different way. In addition, the stones of the terraces accumulated the heat of the sun during the day for giving it back during the night to the grapes, favoring a maturation particularly suitable for winemaking. Finally, the water management associated to dry stone terraces was removed, encouraging the superficial erosion typical of the modern vineyards.

For these reasons, thanks to the will of a local wine producer, 6 hectares of terraced vineyards  for high quality wines have been restored, for a total length of about 7 kilometres of dry stone walls.

Download here the article published on the Italian Journal of Agronomy containing an analysis on the landscape tranformation of Lamole and of its terreces.

 

Lamole 1    Lamole 2 

The terraces of Lamole before the restoration, after the removal of the vegetation grown as a result of the abandonment.

 

LAMOLE terrazzamenti

Comparison of the presence of terraces in 1954 and 2007. Despite terraces are still numerous, their decrease compared to the '50s is clear.

 

Lamole 3

 Some of the restored terraces of Lamole.

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  Book Series on Environmental History series editor Prof. Mauro Agnoletti editor contact: mauro.agnoletti@unifi.it springer contact:[...]
  Editors in Chief:  Mauro Agnoletti (University of Florence, Italy) Gabriella Corona (National Research Council, Naples,[...]

Prof. Mauro Agnoletti - Università di Firenze - Email: mauro.agnoletti@unifi.it - Website: www.mauroagnoletti.com

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