A popular proverb says “Good wine is made in the vineyard”. For this reason, it is essential to take great care of the vines, without forgetting the respect for the environment and all its forms of life (human beings included…).
Proceeding in a chronological sequence, the first work to be performed is the winter pruning. Pruning by hand enables the wine grower to choose, with great attention and according to his experience, the healthiest and strongest canes with a solid wooden body: they will bring the best buds, while the others will be removed.
It is a very important step, since this choice will partly determine the final quality of the grapes. Following the pruning, the shoots are tied to the support wires, so that the new shoots can develop upright and tidy.
The sap of the vine, which is called “tears of the vine”, indicates that the roots have re-started their activity after the winter break, and the sap is circulating again.
In April, the buds open and the new shoots start to develop: one of the most complex tasks of the wine grower has just started.
The fast growth of the shoots and the formation of small grapes require many agronomic strategies to ensure the vineyard the best micro-climatic conditions for the overall growth of the vine and the grape ripening.
Part of the buds has to be selectively removed to prevent that the leaves will shade one another, shoots coming from the base have to be cut away (this operation is carried out manually, without chemical products that cause them to dry), otherwise they would suck precious energy to the vine.
Furthermore, the shoots that have grown higher than the plant have to be cut, and some leaves around the grapes have to be removed to allow the fruits a better exposition to the sun.
Finally, before the harvest, the grape thinning can be as large as 50% of the total quantity of grapes, in order to improve the concentration of sugar and polyphenols. These are the operations that Ernesto, Mariarita and Francesco have to carry out in a period which is quite short.
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