Urban development threatens Dante’s wine region
24th January, 2013 by Rupert Millar
A winemaking descendant of the poet Dante Alighieri is urging the local government of Veneto to tighten planning laws to protect Valpolicella from urban sprawl.
Vineyards in Valpolicella
Count Pieralvise Serego Alighieri, the owner of Serego Alighieri, has said that the combination of lax planning regulations and growing population is putting the countryside at risk.
Along with other producers and environmentalists, he has presented the government with an appeal that demands an immediate freeze on the building of all homes, factories and industrial estates in the area around Valpolicella.
The appeal adds that as the population of the valley outside Verona has doubled in the past 25 years to over 70,000, the beauty of the countryside is at risk.
Alighieri told The Daily Telegraph that the area “deserved better” on account of its wine heritage and fame.
“It is still a little paradise but the level of development is too high,” he declared.
The Alighieri family have lived in the region for over 20 generations, ever since the poet was exiled from Florence in 1301 for his (White) Guelph sympathies and moved to Verona, refusing to return even when granted an amnesty in 1314.
His son Pietro bought the family estate of Casal dei Ronchi in 1353. In 1549 another Alighieri, Ginevra, married Marcantonio Serego, the son of a wealthy Veronese nobleman and the property has been added to ever since, with agriculture and winemaking at its heart.
In the 1970s, the current count joined with Masi Agricola to promote local wines and traditions.