When I am asked what innovation is, I answer that it is often the intelligent enhancement of something that already exists. Many “inventions”, if we think about it, are often the result of creatively recombining elements that are already known.
One example is the Umbrian winery Arnaldo Caprai, European Winery of the Year 2012 according to Wine Enthusiast magazine. After having saved from extinction and enhanced the Sagrantino, a typical grape variety of the area, it focused heavily on environmental research, analysing the effects of global warming on vineyards and reducing carbon emissions during production. Now, together with six other local companies, it has promoted and launched the project Montefalco 2015, the Green Revolution to create a winegrowing protocol that makes environmental, social and economic sustainability the new development model of the area. How? By testing new technologies for sustainable agriculture, focusing on biodynamic and organic products, and by gradually replacing traditional machinery and methods with more efficient ones.
In a nut shell, Arnaldo Caprai is a small Italian centre of excellence that has brought innovation to a very traditional industry, first by recovering what is unique and valuable, and then reinterpreting it with a view towards environmental sensitivity, something which can no longer be ignored in any field, and especially not in the food sector. This is the Italy I love and am proud to talk about, particularly when abroad.