Where are the vineyards?
Visitors who have heard about the fine wines of Carmignano and arrive for the first time in the zone can be pardoned for asking: “But where are the vineyards”?
The question is not intended as a provocation. Along the main roads, olive groves dominate the landscape; they extend, in fact, over a total surface area double that of the vineyards, 2200 total acres (900 hectares) against the 1100 acres (450 hectares) of vines. And some claim that the total acreage of olive groves is as high as 2400 acres (1000 hectares). But Carmignano, in terms of its historic tradition, is wine territory, and about this there can be few doubts. And with the birth of the “Medici wine road of Carmignano” this part of local history has been reinforced and further underlined. I wrote the first brief history of this wine, almost as a casual event, during an international congress on Tuscan wine in November of 1991 when our township was selected and placed in an itinerary for wine lovers. Those few pages, meant to be of use for those who had been invited, then amplified, were given an elegant printed format the following year in order to celebrate the popping of the cork of the first Carmignano DOCG wines.
The purpose, then as now, was to gather together and update all of the available notices and information about the wine, previously scattered in a myriad of different texts (and, at times, part only of an oral tradition). Successively, again almost casually just as when I wrote the first pages, I discovered other texts, stories, and anecdotes. Some were used in my activity as a journalist, others (with the same methodical precision which characterizes the work of my profession) simply noted and transcribed as diligently as possible.
In the meantime, the production rules of the Carmignano appellation had been changed as well. And thus, when it was decided to print this second edition, all of this material (further amplified with photographs and facts of interest about wine in general) was included.
A Museum of the Vine and of Wine had also been created in this period and inaugurated in the palace which houses the town hall on September 23 1999.
At the beginning of the 1990’s, many were convinced that wine should and would become the ambassador of all of the beauties of our territory (from the Etruscan necropolises to the medieval and Renaissance buildings, the splendid examples of rural architecture still existing, the local traditions, the pristine setting and surroundings of this part of the Tuscan countryside, an ideal spot for visitors seeking the best of unspoiled country life). This conviction is, today, still valid: a greater awareness of the name of “Carmignano” will be an important catalyst for the development of country tourism in our zone. Perhaps an excellent pretext for visiting it. This, at least, is the hope. And it is with the idea of seeking a larger public that this small book has been planned, the desire to publish something enjoyable and stimulating for many readers and visitors, not merely a book for those directly involved in wine and the wine trade.
Carmignano, November 2002