Tag: Veneto

The Euganean Hills are now a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

THE Euganean Hills I am now a Unesco World Biosphere Reserve. A new important recognition for Italy, which has demonstrated how viticulture can play a key role in preserving and enhancing nature and biodiversity, if carried out with attention, respect and a conscious commitment projected into the future.

The Coordinating Committee of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme officially sanctioned it during the 36th session held in Agadir, Morocco, with the designation of 11 new Biosphere Reserves in 11 countries (including, for the first time, Belgium and Gambia) and two transboundary reserves. With these new reserves, which cover a total surface area of ​​37,400 km², equivalent to the size of the Netherlands, the World Biosphere Network now has 759 sites in 136 countries around the world.

As far as Italy is concerned, in addition to the Transboundary Reserve of the Julian Alps (derived from the merger of the two reserves created in 2019 and 2003 respectively), the Euganean Hills, a short distance from Padua, represent an important novelty, with their fascinating geological history. The hills were formed millions of years ago, thanks to the activity of the numerous active volcanoes in the area. When they died out, the highest peaks emerged, creating a group of rocky islets in the “Po Valley Sea”. Erosion over the centuries has shaped the landscape, removing the softer rocks and leaving visible the hard, conical and steep volcanic rocks. Over the centuries, the climate, vegetation and human activity have further modified the environment, creating a territory very precious for biodiversity, also protected by the Euganean Hills Regional Park which, established in 1989, became the first regional park in Veneto.

Over thirty different vines in a single territory

The Euganean Hills cover an area of ​​about one hundred square kilometers with a total surface area of ​​the Park of 18,684 hectares. Mount Venda, with its 601 meters of height, dominates the over one hundred hills that form the Euganean complex. And the wine represents a fundamental element of the landscape. The production area of ​​the DOC Colli Euganei coincides with that of the Park, and is divided at an administrative level into 15 municipalities, rich in history and tradition.

«The inclusion of the Euganean Hills in the List of UNESCO World Biodiversity Reserves – comments the president of the Consorzio Tutela Colli Euganei Gianluca Carrara – it is an extraordinary opportunity for our territory and for our wine. We have supported the candidacy from the beginning, of which we feel an active part. Our viticulture is an expression of biodiversity: here we grow over 30 different vines”. An infinite variety, which also passes through theattention to the environmentwith due respect for landscape constraints, but also by the use of low-impact cultivation techniques thanks to which hundreds of animal and plant life forms are preserved. From an oenological point of view, the wines of the Euganean Hills are expressed in three different denominations: the Serpentinevolcanic and with spring scents, the Reds from the Euganean Hills (based on Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere) and then the Moscato of the Euganean Hillsavailable in dry, sparkling and passito. The president concludes: «Our vineyards cover a considerable area of ​​the Park, over 3000 hectares, and contribute to the protection and conservation of the territory. With their daily work, the producers are committed to the management of water, woods and soil, a fundamental role today in light of climate changes that are increasingly evident.

Cicchetti recipe with soppressa and creamed cod – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Cicchetti recipe with soppressa and creamed cod

Today we are inspired by the Venetian tradition to prepare the aperitif. In addition to the inevitable Spritz, in Veneto the golden hour rhymes with cicchetti, which we could define as Italian tapas. Cicchetti can be prepared in many ways, with slices of bread, croutons or polenta as a base, and then with cured meats, anchovies, cod and radicchio – just to give a few examples – as a filling.

In this recipe we made them with loaves of bread cut into rounds and toasted: we completed one part with slices of Venetian soppressa, another part with creamed cod, parsley and capers.

Also discover these recipes to prepare always different cicchetti: Venetian cicchetti with sardines in saor and polenta with radicchio, Happy cicchetti with cups of radicchio and sardine skewers.

San Francesco della Vigna: the sparkling wine from the Venetian vineyard – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Only 1107 bottles of Harmonia Mundi: a symbolic number, which takes up the linear meters of the vineyard. Bottle No. 1.

Harmonia Mundi is enriched by delicate greenish reflections to the eye, with a very fine and persistent perlage. The nose opens with fresh notes that recall the sea breeze and with citrus fruits that slowly evolve into flowers (white alyssum), faint memories of seaweed and delicate spices. The long stay on the yeasts in the autoclave is expressed on the palate with slow and constant riddling, enhanced by the salty and marine notes, alongside the return of the citrus scents. The bottles silk-screened with blue and golden nuances recall the colors of the lagoon and the elegant box is made using disused briccole wood, a further homage to the Serenissima.

The exclusivity of the vineyards in Venice

«For us explains Stefano Marzotto, vice president of Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo, «the recovery of urban vineyards represents one of the most important initiatives that the world of wine can, and must, undertake today to keep the link with its history strong and alive , its roots and its traditions. Vineyards have been an integral part of the life and panorama of our cities, representing an essential economic component, characterizing their urban planning and social organisation. This was also the case in Venice which, although limited in its surface area, has cultivated vines in its historic center for centuries.”

A unique vineyard like that of San Francesco della Vigna requires particular attention, which recalls the traditional cultivation techniques of the past and the exclusively manual processing in the vineyard. The management of the vineyard is organic, only biodegradable materials are used (wicker for the most important bindings, linen fiber twine) and biodiversity is guaranteed by the grassing of the vineyard, with the sowing of varieties of perennial flowers that enrich the rows. During the harvest (strictly entirely by hand) even moving the grapes becomes a real adventure: the boxes are transported with a small boat across the lagoon to the mainland and then transferred to Santa Margherita for pressing and vinification.

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