The following is a translation of a statement issued last week by the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers.
August 14, 2014
Ten days have passed since the tragic events at the Croda watermill in Refrontolo in Treviso province.
A lot has been said and written about it in the media. We can’t address what happened because we don’t know the details and the authorities and technicians haven’t completed their investigation.
As independent Italian grape growers, we believe that it’s important to share our thoughts here: among the many words that have been devoted to this episode, the term vignaiolo (grape grower) has been used inappropriately and the confusing manner in which it has been applied shows that the identity of the grape grower is still unclear in the minds of many.
In recent days, it was decided that grape growers were potentially responsible for the incident. The accusation was leveled in a chaotic attack on a group that has always existed and worked throughout Italy. The allegation has caused grave damage to those who work conscientiously and who support their families working as grape growers.
From the oldest to the youngest among us, including our board of directors, all of the members of FIVI work in a winery and each of us is completely responsible for the entire process, from growing grapes to selling the wine we produce.
Being a grape grower means having a direct relationship with the land and taking care of every single row of the vineyards where we live every day of our lives.
Our hands touch living material — not plastic. And so we know that every action causes a reaction.
We are acutely aware that respect for the vines and the land where they are planted is the key to our work and productivity. Without our vines, our wineries could not exist.
To live and make wine in any appellation means that one mustn’t limit her/himself to taking from the land. She/he must also do her/his best to give back. This is achieved by respecting, caring for, safeguarding, and supporting the microcosm where we live.
For this reason, every one of our bottles tells a different story and it pays the land back everything that it has taken from the land — with interest.
By definition, a grape grower cannot engage in self-injury.
We believe that the media’s recent attack on grape growers is baseless. It attempts to cast a bad light on an entire group of persons who, in fact, do not exploit the land. On the contrary, they care for the land where they live and every day they take care to prevent unforeseeable however potential disasters.
There are 800 of us independent grape growers and we put our blood, sweat, and tears into our work, every day and with pride.
translation by our blogmaster