THE VINEYARDS OF ARCOLE, BETWEEN THE ADIGE AND FIUMENOVO

The area which embraces the Arcole DOC zone is notable for its important presence of rivers and streams. Ever since ancient times, these waters have affected not only the surface of the soil but also its various layers, continuously leaving sedimentary alluvial deposits that were distributed in various concentrations. For centuries, the area underwent innumerable geomorphological changes, in a process of constant regeneration. The result was stretches of plain and hilly land that have nurtured the cultivation of vines uninterruptedly over the course of the centuries. During the Middle Ages, in particular, this area became increasingly fit for habitation and for cultivation. There exist countless documents describing the reclaiming of the land and its development for agricultural purposes.
In more modern times, the Venetian Republic attempted to win the unequal fight against frequent flooding in the zone. It was during this period that the major hydraulic engineering projects (dams, sewers, canal bridges, etc.) were begun, which, however, only succeeded in part in eliminating the age-old problems of flooding caused by both the Adige and the zone’s minor waterways.
The construction of embankments and the process of land reclamation have led, in more recent times, to a complete reorganization of the hydrological set up of the entire area. Concentrations of human dwellings have gradually inserted themselves into this environment, and the cultivation of vines has been practised with ever-growing zeal, assuming an increasingly high level of quality and eventually becoming a cultural, social and economic phenomenon of undoubted historical and anthropological significance.
The advent of the Romans should not be viewed as an all-destroying cataclysm. The territory was occupied gradually and peacefully, and so the local civil customs and religious practices also underwent an inevitable evolution.
It is in this period that the link road was constructed between Ateste and the Via Postumia, the Imperial Road built in 148 B.C. connecting Genoa to Aquileia - passing through Verona, Vicenza and Treviso - and along which much of the northern trade took place.
The Via Porcilana, which ran from Este to San Martino Buon Albergo, constituted a vital axis for an agricultural economy that was just beginning to grow in the very area that had once been traversed by the waters of the Adige, and which was therefore rich in sand, silt and mineral salts.