Representing the tradition and planning of a wine means having a clear vision of the production chain and its relationship with the natural and artificial eco-system, including the territory, the vineyard and all the activities carried out in the wine cellar that lead to the end product itself, until it is consumed. Nowadays, wine is not different to other sustainable products, for which the systemic dimension and the network of relations determine the overall "goodness" of the end result, going well beyond the sensory experience that a glass of wine offers. We can therefore speak of "sustainable sensory experiences", of successfully combining what is good, correct and simple, and of wine that is "good to drink" because it is also "good for contemplation": with Sciur, the qualities of enjoyment and sustainability are inextricably and harmoniously linked to the tradition of the product, to its theoretical and experimental project and to its becoming a tangible reality.
The word "Sciur" cannot be found in an Italian dictionary but only in a dictionary of the Lombardy dialect. In Valtellina, as a sign of respect, it was the name given to Carlo Negri (known as Sciur Carluccio) the son of Nino Negri, who founded the winery of the same name in 1897. Apart from this interesting fact, any reference to dialect is incidental, since Sciur is used as an acronym for serendipity* thanks to research by the students of the Polytechnic University of Milan who found key words that characterise the project and the wine to be produced.
Five terms, full of significance and strategic value, were found. They are explicit thanks to their meaning, and attractive and virtuous due to their practical and cultural implications.
*Serendipity is a neologism, which translated implies a sensation that is perceived when something is discovered, an unpredictable idea, which appears unexpectedly, just when another is being investigated.
Vintage 2012: the winter was one of the driest and windiest in recent years. The supply of water to the soil, however, ensured good flowering and fruit set. The yield amounted to 40hl per hectare due to a difficult summer season, which featured a strong hailstorm that resulted in careful and accurate selection during the harvesting period. Harvesting, at the end of October, involved hand-picking the grapes into crates.
Vineyard: the 4-hectare vineyard, located in the Fracia area at an altitude from 380 to 500 metres above sea level, features terraces, loose soil and south-east exposure. The rows were replanted using the "girapoggio" (rows planted parallel to slopes) system with east-west exposure to allow the best working conditions. The "soft" pruning method was employed, along with grass cutting, microclimate monitoring with a dedicated weather station, protection for low environmental impact and mating disruption.
Grapes: 100% Chiavennasca
Wine cellar: fermentation with maceration for 12 days, aging in 750-litre wood casks in the Antica Cantina of Castello Quadrio until the right balance was achieved (16 months); followed by an appropriate period of aging in the bottle.
When considering the concept of new, and especially a new wine, we quote the words of Bruno Zevi, an expert on the history of art and architecture: “Intelligent people try to understand what is new, finding it in the past and bringing it up-to-date, whereas mediocre people also look for what is old in modern objects and become bored”.Sciur is made by traditional “methods” combined with current know-how and skilled hands.
This is evident throughout the vineyards of the Valtellina and in the wines that the oenologist Casimiro Maule has made in the past. To understand and enjoy of Sciur, we need to return to the fundamentals of simplicity so we can identify the quality of what appears to be simple. Sciur is in harmony with the striking geographical features of the territory, which give the wine its essence and strong character.
The fresh and fruity sensations of Sciur can be surprisingly perceived on both the nose and the palate. It is well-balanced and pleasant to drink, with a long and lingering finish.
About 20 students at the Polytechnic University of Milan participated in a workshop as part of the strategic Master in Design programme, involving a team of young professionals from over 7 countries worldwide who focused on designing a globally sustainable wine. As experienced explorers, with perspectives and open minds different to that of “wine lovers”, the participants set out to research case studies, analog models, materials and new scenarios. Using an innovative approach and various means and tools, they developed a huge amount of input and stimuli instrumental to the concept of the wine of the future, in markets that perhaps do not yet exist, but include broad visions of sense and significance, and potential projects for the future.
These activities, this approach and the grouping together of different scenarios and procedures also gave rise to design parameters that are useful for handling the process, which can then be linguistically summed up in the acronym of Sciur.
Highlights from workshop
Concept and design
Manager and oenologist,
with Giacomo Mojoli,
and with Wine cellar Team Nino Negri
and Strategic Development
and Francesco Zurlo
Master in Strategic Design,
Politecnico di Milano
and packaging design
with Davide Airoldi
Total Tool Milano
Scuola del Design,
Politecnico di Milano
Sarine Ohanian (RL)
Mabel Matera (CO)
Marihum Pernia (YV)
Diane Shen (RC)
Paula Càrdenas (CO)
Napawadee Fai (T)
Gracia Chamochumbi (PE)
Lina Ceschim (BR)
Nidhi Agarwal (IND)
Jojo Tanjamroon (T)
Master in Strategic Design, Politecnico di Milano
"Dry stone walls" stage project
Classi 3^ e 4^ Settore Edile