Women of Wine: The Guardians Who Hold a Cultural Identity in Their Hands

Get a glimpse into a world where every sip of wine becomes a tale of heritage and preservation as the Women of Wine reveal their role as custodians, using local history, architecture, and indigenous grapes to weave a narrative that transcends time and safeguards the cultural identity of wine territories.

Here are all the data from the survey ‘Women, Wine, and the Safeguarding of the Cultural Identity of Wine Territories,’ conducted by Marta Galli, Observatory of Sustainable Wine Business and Enogastronomic Tourism.

A Survey of The Women of Wine

For the first time, the ‘wine people’ reveal their role as custodians and enhancers of the context in which they operate, understood as local history, architecture, landscape, and the material culture related to wine and food.

No other productive sector has a similar attitude in safeguarding its territory. Consider that in Italy, two square meters of soil are cemented every second, yet 44% of those in the wine industry operate in historical buildings, and all (96.6%) believe it is necessary to restore ancient constructions rather than build new ones. In fact, 44.7% of the surveyed sample has restored pre-existing buildings, mainly using local businesses (56.1%).

The survey on ‘Women, Wine, and the Safeguarding of the Cultural Identity of Wine Territories‘ was conducted by Marta Galli, operational director of the Observatory Sustainable Wine Business and Enogastronomic Tourism, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Milano, and was presented in Florence on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Women of Wine, founded in this city in 1988.

“A sign of hope in a country where floods are amplified by excessive soil exploitation, and ‘non-places’ are increasingly widespread,” says Daniela Mastroberardino, the national president of Women of Wine. “It remains to be seen if the sample of 237 producer members from all Italian regions – the association consists of professionals in leadership roles in wineries, restaurants, wine shops, and also sommeliers, consultants, communicators – corresponds to an equally virtuous attitude among male colleagues, but we hope so.”

Guardians of an Intrinsic Identity

“The survey has brought to light an unexplored aspect of the activity of those who produce, sell, or make wine consumable: the inclination to preserve local identity and culture to use in the storytelling of bottles,” said Donatella Cinelli Colombini, former national president and delegate of Women of Wine Tuscany.

“In fact, 94% of the sample uses local history to contextualize their wines,” commented Marta Galli, providing additional points of reflection: “44% of those with a business use historical buildings, and 49% have a work of art on the premises.”

“Obviously, in the vast majority of cases, these are not sculptures by Donatello or frescoes by Ghirlandaio, although some wine companies have those too, but being careful custodians of the heritage of the past is still important,” concluded Donatella Cinelli Colombini.

As for the safeguarding of biodiversity and material culture, Women of Wine set a virtuous example to imitate, “with very few exceptions (96.9%) using native grape varieties in the production of their wines, and over half focus specifically on those to tell their story,” explained Marta Galli. “Equally unanimous (94.5%) is the use of local foods and recipes in combination with the bottles, highlighting a need for identity and roots that ultimately benefits the preservation of ancient knowledge.

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Women of Wine: The Guardians Who Hold a Cultural Identity in Their Hands

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