Introducing: VIA Guest Blogs
March 26, 2020
Ep. 281 Alessandra Stelzer (Maso Martis)
March 31, 2020

Zumaia geology special coast, the famous Flysch Coast in Northern Spain

Flysch is a word in Swiss/German that means to slide. These rocks were formed in an epoch a long time ago, in the Tertiary Period, around 60 million years ago. These are the result of the demolition of the mountains that were formed from the movement of the continents – the Alps, the Apennines and the Pyrenees and others.

Professor Attilio Scienza

This is the very first VIA Guest Blog post from Susannah Gold, DWS, FWS in New York. Susannah's company is Vigneto Communications and her own blog is avvinare. Additionally, she is a Lugana East Coast Brand Ambassador and a Vinitaly International Italian Wine Ambassador. Susannah is absolutely fabulous because she's willing to get up in the wee hours of the morning, New York time, to take a call from Stevie Kim and Professor Attilio Scienza, and she's not even fazed when they launch straight into discussion of Italian grape varieties and vine genetics.

Here, she helps us translate Professor Attilio Scienza's explanation of the very first "Everybody Needs a Bit of Scienza" question. The question was submitted to ENBS by Gill Gordon-Smith of Fall From Grace, near Adelaide, Australia. Listen to the original recording of Professor Scienza's answer to Gill's question in episode 275 of the Italian Wine Podcast (starting around minute 24:30).

Translation by Susannah Gold:

Scienza: Thank you Monty. Hello Monty. Where are you? Where are you? Ciao Giulia.

Stevie: Allora ciao Gill Gordon Smith. She is Australian. She is the owner of Fall from Grace, a producer and she is also an Italian Wine Expert.

Scienza: Hello to everyone who listens to us and I thank all those who asked questions. Say hello only to Gill. Say hello only to Gill. Ciao Gill, I wanted to say hello to everyone in an ecumenical way. One at at time. Can you define Flysch for those who don’t understand what it is.

Stevie: I beg you only five minutes not five hours.

Scienza: Flysch is a word in Swiss/German that means to slide. These rocks were formed in an epoch a long time ago, in the Tertiary Period, around 60 million years ago. These are the result of the demolition of the mountains that were formed from the movement of the continents – the Alps, the Apennines and the Pyrenees and others.

What are they these soils? They have layers and that is the key. They are rocks with layers of clay and sand. That were created though in the sea. There are ancient soils that were formed because of erosion. Why are they important in Italian viticulture? The desolution of these sedimentary rocks which are not as hard as others. These are sedimentary rocks but they are not as hard as some others like granite or Porphyry soils.

What color are they? Usually they are grey or brown. What’s interesting is the percentage of clay and sand changes. This is what is very interesting. They are many terroirs, viticultural areas that are created from Flysch. An example is some terroirs that are from Flysch– think of the Ponca from the Colli Orientali or the Collio. The terroir of Barolo and Barbaresco. The Colline Romagnolii. And Chianti too. Albarese and Galestro are also created from Flysch. In the next question we will talk about it.

Stevie: Then let’s wait for the next questions let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Do you know that we call you Fysh man? That’s where this question came from. See you next time! Alla prossima!