Participants at the Slow Wine Fair and members of the Slow Wine Coalition share a certain vision of wine as defined by the Slow Food Manifesto for good, clean and fair wine; this document is the fruit of over thirty years of experience in the field. Throughout the history of Slow Food wine has played a leading role, and it continues to do so today.
Good, clean and fair wine can contribute to changing the agricultural system, bringing together considerations of environmental sustainability, defense of the landscape, and the socio-cultural growth of areas dedicated to wine cultivation.
Three pillars of the Manifesto
Among the points in the Manifesto, there are three fundamental pillars:
Wine and environmental sustainability
Wine and environmental sustainability. “Wineries may not use chemically synthesized fertilizers, herbicides, or anti-botrytis fungicides.” And again: “A conscious and sustainable approach to the use of environmental resources in winemaking must be applied. Dependence on irrigation systems must be limited and should only aim to avoid critical water-stress conditions.”
Wine, biodiversity and landscape
“Winery buildings, should they need to be constructed, must respect their environmental surroundings. Management, upkeep and eventual restoration of extant buildings should take sustainability into account.” And again: “Sustainable winemakers encourage biodiversity through practices such as: alternating vineyards with hedges and wooded areas; soil management practices that include grass and green manure and exclude, in any case, bare soil, with potential exceptions for short, seasonal periods; the protection of pollinating insects and useful fauna through the use of insecticides which are allowed in organic farming, where such interventions are necessary, and in any case avoiding their use during the flowering of the vine and of other herbaceous species present in the vineyard; the breeding of animals with respect for their welfare and the production of manure on the farm, as well as the production of compost from pruning residues and other organic materials.”
Wine and the community
“Wineries should actively engage and collaborate with the entire surrounding farming community in order to strengthen and enhance the agricultural system of the area. In this vein, the winery must maintain a principled relationship with its associates, as well as its employees, fostering personal and professional growth. It is moreover important that the winery cooperates and shares knowledge with other producers, avoiding unfair competition.”
The Manifesto also regards the sensory aspects of wine, defines the importance of terroir, provides important guidelines for work in the cellar and the cultivation of grapes, and much more more.