A Pantelleria garden on the slopes of Mt Etna? It’s not a hallucination triggered by high temperatures, but rather an installation within the third edition of the Radice Garden Festival, the Biennial of the Mediterranean garden conceived by Mario Faro who, until December 19th, in Giarre, will explore the theme of the Gardens of Future. In the botanical park it’s possible to visit four installations and fifteen gardens with varieties from Piante Faro, the nursery that represents one of the most innovative realities in the area.
The viticulture of Pantelleria
In particular, the Pantelleria garden, which takes the name of Futuro Anteriore, celebrates the viticulture of Pantelleria, the island where man over the centuries has managed to cultivate vines in an extreme environment: windy, little rain, with soils steeply sloping and with scarce water sources. The vineyard is on terraces supported by dry lava stone walls, built by the skilled hands of the winemakers. Such terraces help prevent soil erosion and make the island’s landscape unique. Furthermore, the Zibibbo vines are grown almost creeping on the ground, inside “hollows,” so that the plant remains very low and protected from the wind. The Pantelleria alberello system as a “highly sustainable and creative agricultural practice” has further been recognized by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The agreement between Donnafugata and Radicepura Foundation
Futuro Anteriore, which will remain in Radice Pura as a permanent installation, also sanctions the partnership between the Donnafugata winery and the Radicepura Foundation, a Sicilian reality heralding an innovative look to the soil. “With the Faro family” as explained by Josè and Antonio Rallo, owners of Donnafugata, “we share a productive vision based on values of craftsmanship, sustainability and care for the landscape. A business culture aware of the challenges we face: from climate change to soil erosion, from economic and environmental sustainability to care of the land.” Completing the garden is the sketch created by the artist Stefano Vitale (historical illustrator of Donnafugata labels) representing the island and the manual work behind his heroic winegrowing.
by Loredana Sottile