Canale dei Molini

The "Canale dei Molini" brand is proposed on the market as a line of products strongly linked to tradition but at the same time projected to meet international taste: wines that are interpreters of that dual identity - very specific but at the same time open as befits a land of passage - that makes the territory of which they are children so special, if not unique.

Founded on the banks of the river Santerno way back in 82 A.C. under the name Forum Cornelii, Imola is today a significant urban reality, forming part of the metropolitan district of the city of Bologna.

An important economic and agricultural centre for many centuries, Imola has been able to develop a very well defined and rooted identity as a city in its own right so that, today, its link with Bologna can be said to be a purely administrative constraint. A key factor in the development of such a strong cultural personality of this city is undoubtedly its location on the border between Emilia and Romagna, so much so that some say that the little hyphen that unites/separates the names of the two sub-regions is more precisely … Imola! A kind of zipper between two territories, between two cultures, a land where history has left its mark…

…And speaking of geography and history here’s something else that makes Imola a truly unique city: a map!

This map was drawn by Leonardo da Vinci during his stay in 1502: the Tuscan Genius was summoned here by Cesare Borgia in the role of military engineer, and as such was commissioned to design a map of the city for the inspection of the defences of the Sforzesco castle. What resulted turned out to be nothing less than the first aerial perspective map as well as the oldest example of town planning that has come down to our day.

The drawing shows the streets, the various quarters, the buildings of the city, portrayed with an accuracy of proportions that for the time could be considered nothing short of revolutionary, so much so that even the contemporary observer cannot fail to be impressed by the extraordinary ease with which some parts of the city and the surrounding area can still be recognized.

For this reason, Leonardo’s map was the starting point in the search for a name for a line of wines produced right here in Imola and in full respect of the oenological traditions of the area. It was a search for a name that would be able to conjure up the strong link between this territory and its history, something that had remained essentially unchanged throughout the centuries just like the vineyards that furrow the landscape of Imola, a symbol that could embody our tribute to this city.

And there it was, lying quietly on the plain, the Canale dei Molini (Canal of the Mills), an extraordinary work of hydraulic engineering that, since the Middle Ages, has for a good 42 kilometres cut through the countryside surrounding the city, bringing life to the many cultivations that flourish on its banks.

The canal owes its name to as many as 24 mills that, until the beginning of the last century, drew energy from the flow of its waters: beyond the function of irrigation, in the past the canal has in fact played a major role in the development of the industrial sector of this area, providing energy to those early factories of ceramic productions whose development has created a reputation which today Imola enjoys at an international level.

As in an ideal parallel development, the first wine of the range took its name from the point of origin of Canale dei Molini, Chiusa, from which, about 9 Km upstream of Imola, the course of the Santerno river is partially diverted to be directed into the artificial channel of the canal.

The wonderful historical and structural articulation of Imola’s aquatic complex gives full rein to the imagination in the development of the line, which, however, besides paying homage to the oenological tradition of the territory, already has a second, important goal for the future: along with the defence of an important chapter in the city’s history, the Canale dei Mulini wants to pay special attention to the issue of land conservation, aiming to progressively enhance the techniques of wholesome and healthy cultivation and winemaking.

For this reason, for the Canale dei Molini project, a significant green development for the organic sector is already in the pipeline.

The cities of Lamone and Santerno
Governs the Lioncel of the white lair,
Who changes sides 'twixt summer-time and winter;
(Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto XXVII)


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