Last Tuesday Larino, the cradle of the Cities of Oil, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the National Association with a very participatory meeting, which has always had its headquarters in the Municipality that borders Siena, Monteriggioni.
I remembered - while I was living, not without emotion, the celebrations together with some of the protagonists of that December 17, 1994 and with today's protagonists - that singular laboratory of ideas that was the Ente Mostra wines - Enoteca Italiana di Siena, from the second half of the 80s to the first years of the third millennium that we live in.
The first, "Wine, Sport and Nutrition", which anticipates the times by recognizing the wine's important role at the table, even of a sports champion and, in any case, of those who play sports. The second idea "Wine and Tourism", the one that opens up to new important initiatives and is a large part of the revolution that saw Italian wine protagonist in those years. I am thinking of wine tours in the Italian regions with the agricultural workers of the Embassies and the journalists of the foreign press in Italy; to the Wine Tourism Movement and to the open Cellars. And then, "Wine and Fashion"; "Wine and Art", "Wine and Jazz", "Women of Wine" "Young People of Wine", Wine and Youth "; "Wine is", without forgetting the ideas that gave birth to the two national associations, that of the Cities of Wine and that of the Cities of Oil.
It is true that ideas, once realized, walk with men's legs and that, conversely, men's legs walk and reach important goals if the ideas are there and are valid, but first, however, they need to be elaborated in the right time and in the most suitable place.
They are seeds and like all seeds they need fertile soil and a suitable season to germinate before passing into the expert hands of those who will then take care, once they have become seedlings, to make them grow and, with a good organic fertilizer, make them fruit. .
The Italian Enoteca thus becomes a singular laboratory thanks to the culture of the origin of quality, the territory, and the reflections that had matured on this theme during the "Wine Week", its annual event that brought scholars, researchers to Siena , experts, journalists and wine lovers.
And it is no coincidence that the territory that inspires and promotes the National Association of Oil Cities with the ten points of the "Charter of Foundations", of which six are dedicated to the territory, the common good, the only real great darling we have.
Foundations that have inspired and animated the actions of those who, in these 25 years of intense and profitable activity, have managed and directed the Association, today with 330 representative members from 18 Italian regions.
This confirms the role of laboratory / proposal / action in the field of promoting the culture of wine, carried out by the Sienese body, and of the great intuition that seven years before, 2007, had given rise to the first of the identity associations , the Cities of Wine.
Two 33 and 25-year-old companies that deal with viticulture and olive growing, two fundamental sectors for the revival of our agriculture, everywhere marked by 5 thousand typical products and 815 with geographical indication, dop, igp and stg, an invaluable heritage, unique in the world,
Oil, like wine, witnesses principles of the territories, which, from north to south and in the islands, make up the great and singular Italian territory. A primary common good that the type of development, all concentrated on industry, has turned into cement and asphalt.
A process which, in the absence of legislation aimed at blocking abuse of the territory, continues to make the wealth of values and resources that this precious asset expresses poorer.
This is how, in the last 60 years, 10 million hectares of land have been lost and, with the so-called "green revolution" and the start of industrialized agriculture, other surfaces with the loss of soil fertility. To pay the bill is its main activity, agriculture, and, with it, biodiversity and almost all quality food.
It can be said that the birth in Larino of the National Association of Oil Cities is to be considered, thanks to the then president Riccardo Margheriti and to the board of directors of the Wine Exhibition Authority, a kind tribute of the Italian Enoteca to the capital of Frentani.
A capital that owes much of its fame and its history of millennia to the olive tree and its oil. The home, not surprisingly, of three indigenous varieties (a record), "Gentile" "Saligna or Salegna" and "San Pardo", which bear his name, with the first representing one third of Molise olive growing.
A tribute to Larino and his Molise, the smallest of the Regions after the Val d'Aosta, however the youngest, which, even today, as with the fame of Venafro oil, at the time of the Roman Empire is, also thanks to "Larino, cradle of the Oil Cities", to the goodness and diversity of its olive trees and its oils, to the richness of the landscapes expressed by the olive tree and to the goodness of its cuisine, for example, with the oil of its olive trees conductor of the Mediterranean Diet. A Molise, a countryside town, with 136 territories represented by six PDO and PGI geographical indications and, above all, by 150 typical traditional products to testify to the rich biodiversity of a generous, hospitable land.
Too bad that Larino and Molise, the Oil Cities, have not had the opportunity to convey to those who are no longer there the excitement and joy of celebrating the 25 years of life of a reality committed to giving, with ideas and initiatives, a new tomorrow for Italian olive growing and its 500 and most precious oils.