The young Italian gentleman rubbed his moustache as he surveyed the scene before him and then screwed up his nose. The cyclone fencing around this particular vineyard was incongruous to the otherwise idyllic setting of Sardegna (Sardinia). The local vigneron standing beside him could see he was unsettled. Shoving his hand into his pocket, he reached for a small photo he thought should help to explain the situation and the structure’s purpose.
The young man looked puzzled but noted, “These are cinghiale (wild boars), no?”
“Yes“, replied the vigneron, “I took that photo here when we first purchased this vineyard some time ago.“
“Ha. I knew you hunted cinghiale in the area, but I had no idea they were partial to wine grapes“, he commented.
I heard the recount of this story after mentioning my experience when I lived in Bolgheri in Tuscany and becoming accustomed to the sight of these wild and ugly-looking creatures myself.
Come harvest time, or la vendemmia, the cinghiale are so attracted to the ripened grapes’ aroma that they barge their way in. A pair of these beasts have the unhuman-like capacity to eat a quarter of a tonne of grapes in one night. Not only that, but their brute strength and weight of their bodies against the vine’s trunk can do significant damage to its overall health.
The vigneron shook his hands in the air with exasperation, “Che cazzo posso fare? (What can I do)?”
The answer for this rural vigneron was not a cattle guard. In fact, he had never heard of nor seen such a structure. Instead he constructed the cyclone fencing around the perimeter of the entire vineyard. An arduous task to say the least, but one which has served its purpose.
So now what does the vigneron do with the cinghiale that come passing by the outskirts of the vineyard?
A bit of this…
And a bit of that (my preference)