Cavit’s Brusafer Pinot Nero: When High-Tech Meets Agriculture
Alpine Vineyards in Trentino
© Palu di Giovo/Cavit
Cavit is a viticultural co-operative in northern Italy’s Alpine Trentino region. Made up of several smaller, local co-operatives, it unites more than 5,000 local winegrowers and vinifies more than 60% of Trentino’s wine across 5,500ha/13,600 acres of vineyard. Naturally, such a large network poses a logistical challenge with all the diverse vineyards involved.
In 2010, Cavit thus started mapping the vineyards of all members in an ambitious programme run together with the Edmund Mach Foundation, formerly known as the Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige, and the Bruno Kessler Foundation. They call this programme PICA – piattforma integrata cartografica agriviticola.
It is a comprehensive database that records altitude, aspect, soil type and subsoil of each site, it also records planting information but continues to measure and collect data like solar radiation, humidity, temperature and weather events “through the use of cutting-edge tools and complex analyses.”
This minute mapping and recording allows Cavit and all the winegrowers to spray only when and where disease pressure is highest, to irrigate only when it is really necessary: this leads to a much more sustainable way of farming – in an environment that has vast differences in altitude and thus vastly different conditions from vineyard to vineyard, from valley to valley.
Besides that, it also allows Cavit’s viticulturists and winemakers to track and identify all the plots and their fruit. This is how the Brusafer Pinot Nero – the Italian name for Pinot Noir - came about: it is a blend of Pinot Noirs grown in the Vallagarina Valley and on the slopes of Mount Baldo – on glacial limestone and volcanic soils.
It was named after the Brusafer Fortess which guarded one of the Alpine roads down into the valley towards the city of Trento. It is an intense and perfumed Pinot Nero that expresses Alpine height and freshness as much as intense, southern sunshine.
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