“I don’t know what it was that first gave me the idea of doing autopsies on vines,” says Marco Simonit. We are in Friuli, in north-eastern Italy, at the Schiopetto estate, which Simonit, an increasingly influential figure in viticulture, uses as the ‘campus’ for his vine pruning school. Simonit is dressed as if pruning were a sport, in kneepads and ventilated gloves, but as he talks, his intensity becomes clear.

“Maybe it was the passion I had for drawing living things,” he explains. “Drawing vines, I became curious. Man, in order to cultivate the vine, must prune, but the plant can’t say anything. ...


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