See that quincunx, how beautiful it is! What can you observe more graceful?
Marcus Fabius Quintilian, 35-95 AD
Centuries before our era the Romans minted a coin worth five ounces - the quincunx, from Latin “quinque unciae”. Five points marked its value. The coin was short-lived, but the name survives up to the present day: it designs any arrangement of shaped like the spots of the 5 on a die.
In viticulture, the quincunx is a planting pattern: the vines, trained as bushes, are arranged in staggered rows that repeat the lines hinted at in the quincunx. It was the favorite system of the ancient era, because at the same time it met the requirements of order, efficient use of the space and aesthetics: the vineyard looks symmetric regardless of the terrain’s shape.
It is a way of doing viticulture that is very expensive in terms of energy and economic resources: machinery, in fact, can only be employed to a limited extent. Furthermore, to grow and maintain a healthy bush vineyard planted in quincunx pattern, it is essential that the growers have a long experience in the area where they operate.
Not all good wines come from vines planted in quincunx, we admit it. But nevertheless we like to consider the quincunx as a symbol of wine that rises from its terroir, from an intact landscape, from the work of men.