100 hectars of land cultivated with grapevines and apple trees, a wine cellar and a distillery; a unique institute with teaching activities and demonstrations, a school (from secondary school up to university classes), an institution which is the heart of the technological and experimental progress in Trentino region. Istituto Agrario of San Michele is all these things together.
The first important activity is the instruction: young students begin studying in the middle of vineyards at the age of 15, and they can go on with their studies up to University thanks to the presence of a PhD. This kind of centre is the only one in Italy.
Another field in which Iasma is outstanding is the research: it is a research and innovation centre with the mission to promote and enhance the Trentino land-based economy through studies and innovation that improve agricultural and forestry products and enhance the quality and nutritional value of food products. It sustains the region’s environmental resources through development and promotion of low-impact agricultural practices, study and preservation of biodiversity, and characterisation of alpine and subalpine ecosystems.
There are consultant which teach the farmers the new techniques and the tratments their vineyards need. Moreover Iasma offers a great range of services, useful also for the single farmer: a library, specific weather forecast, laboratory analysis and so on.
The third aspect of Iasma is the fact that it directly manages several farms where it conducts fruit and vine research. The farm is organized according to a model of sustainable agriculture, using production factors and techniques with a low environmental impact and which do not create problems from an agronomic viewpoint.
There’s also its own winery, where only grapes from the farm’s best grapevines are processed to produce a selection of exemplary wines representing the entire enological range on offer in the province of Trento.
The wine cellar is located in the Augustinian monastery which dates back to the 12th century, but the institute was founded in 1874. My grandfather’s dad was director of the analysis laboratory of IASMA in the 1910s-1920s.
Istituto Agrario of San Michele is a big group: its organization is complex because of the variety of services and activities.