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the vineyards
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d'arapri 1979


Antichi mestieri

Video Antichi Mestieri


Matteo Salvatore

Il Pescivendolo



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The wine tale

In San Severo the vine growing raised a big importance for the local economy since the beginning of the 19th century, and its excellent white wine became very famous.

This new wine-economy raised new behaviours, traditions, habits and proverbs which were kept untouched until few decades ago. The technological progress, together with the changed requirements of the markets, caused the quick decline of the traditional methods of the grape-harvest and wine making.

This photo collection of the beginning of the 20th century can bear witness of this ancient traditional.

" … a centuries old experience in this field has been definitely ended.
The hundred working sites, the small vats, the carts, the smell that until few years ago enveloped the town for a month have disappeared. Still few years ago, during the transition period, an extremely long queue of carts waiting for unloading the grapes at the Cooperative Cellar, reached and often exceeded my house, at three hundred meters from the unloading site. Now everything is fast" (Nino Casiglio).

Photo 1.
San Severo countryside in the 1600.
Map of San Severo in 1600 in which is possible to observe the vineyards around the town.

Photo 2.
San Severo DOC boundary.
The Sansevero was the first wine of Puglia region and one of the first Italian wines to get the D.O.C.; the decree that disciplines the production dates back to April 19th, 1968.

Photo 3.
Small vat assembly.
The person charged to put the grape into the small vat.

Photo 4.
Casks and small vats.
The small vats are used to transport the grape, the casks for the wine.

Photo 5.
Children learn the craft of making casks and small vats.

Photo 6.
Cooper's tools.
The cooper’s tools.

Photo 7.
Master cooper.
Master cooper in front of his workshop.

Photo 8.
Grape harvester.
The small vat is carried on the head by the women and on the shoulder by the men.

Photo 9.
The cart.
The small vats full of grape (50 kgs about) are loaded on the carts which can carry 24 pieces (two salme).

Photo 10.
Grape harvest.

Photo 11.
Horse's meal.
The pause with the horse meal.

Photo 12.
Grape trasport.
The grape reaches the town on the cart; each cart arriving make "one trip".

Photo 13.
Wine factory.
Queue of carts in front of a wine factory at the beginning of ‘900.

Photo 14.
Grape pressor.
The grape is pressed by feet in a parallelepid shaped container (Palmento).

Photo 15.
Grape dregs picking.
The grape dregs are picked up and sent to the distilleries for the alcool production.

Photo 16.
Win town crier and the tasting.
The wine of each wine shop is advertised by a town crier getting around the town streets, extolling the quality of the wine and letting people tasting it in special tapering glasses.

Photo 17.
The cellar.
The wine shop is the evening meeting place to talk, play cards and drink wine together with a frugal meal like cheese, salted anchovies, dry meat (muscisch), nuts.

Photo 18.
The pouring.
The wine is sold loose in the wine shop.

Photo 19.
Loading wine for selling.

Photo 20.
Wine forwarding.
The wine leavs the railway station in casks of 500 litres.

Foto 21
The waiting
The load is ready; they are waiting for barrow to take grapes to village.

Foto 22
The weighing
Weighing of grapes for sale.

Foto 23
Wine Merchant
Ancient firm of wine-making and wine trade.

Immage Gallery


in San Severo in the 1979, in one of his  reportage on wine production.




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