Marògne: the pillars of Valpolicella, our heritage
While entering our beautiful Valley of Fumane, one remains fascinated by the several dry stone walls holding rows of vineyards: it’s the marògne, as they are called by the people of Valpolicella. Today, they are still proof of men’s ability of taming even the most impervious nature.
Our family comes from a small county above Marano, towards Monte Castelòn. It’s called Pezza and our ancestral relationship with the history of Valpolicella comes directly from that deep bond between the stone and the vineyard.
12 km of stone
When we acquired Villa San Michele, home of Tenute Ugolini, the adjacent vineyards and those more inclined towards the hill were held by abandoned walls. The marògne, built dry, centuries before, had collapsed on the terraces; all open wounds from weather and time. Ever since the beginning, their recovery has been our primary interest.
However, who could ever be able to recover those rural monuments, a true world heritage, by following the ancient and almost completely forgotten techniques? We wanted to reestablish the history by repositioning each stone where it once belonged without modernity changing its shape. We had to rebuild 12 km of marògne outlining the Villa, following San Michele and San Michele della Chiesa’s vineyards until reaching Valle Alta.
The last chisel strokes
If marl and clay are the skeleton of our Valpolicella, the marògne are the nervous system: they support it, make it flexible, allow it to endure all kinds of weather and shape its territory. In order to give life back to the entire marògne grid, I decided to begin a purpose cooperative on our properties, aiming to rebuild according to the ancestral methods of the chisel and Prun’s stone.
Thanks to these last stone artisans, we have been able to recover a large surface of territory, rendering its soul back. Therefore, when you look at the organized rows of stones, remember all the last chisel strokes of our Valpolicella’s artisans.