Louis Pasteur said that “wondering is the first step of reason towards discovery”. Cultivating vines means relying on nature and its rules, accepting its own time and any unforeseen events. It becomes essential to maintain the ability to marvel and to be amazed in front of evolving scenarios, in order to face any challenge and sudden change in a spirit of adaptability and resilience.
And so, when it seemed that the 2023 season took a precise direction, nature changed the game, showing us a new scenario.
But what has changed?
After particularly dry autumn and winter, with little snow and rainfall, it was expected to face a situation similar to that experienced in 2022. The beginning of the season was still marked by lack of water and, despite bud break started in line with previous years, we began to be worried about having to deal with another year characterized by low rainfall.
Around 20 April, just when vines were in full vegetative growth – phase in which they need more water supply – a long period of regular and uniform rain started and resulted in 300 mm of rainfall since the beginning of the year.
Grass has grown back, and vineyards are full of life and energy.
Thanks to a renewed optimism, we took immediate action to face some operational difficulties caused by prolonged rains. In May, temperatures decreased below the seasonal average, initially slowing the growth of vines. After suckering we carried out disbudding, all activities carried out manually vine by vine, with the aim to eliminate superfluous shoots and to focus energies and resources exclusively on fruit-bearing shoots.
Between one rain and another, we continued to training upward vines: shoots were manually arranged in an orderly and separate manner, in order to promote good exposure and ventilation. Last, we took action to cut the grass in inter-row and under-vine, so as to reduce humidity that, if excessive, could facilitate the development of diseases.
Given abundant and recurring rains, we thought it appropriate to perform some activities by hand in the cooler slopes, in particular grass management in under-vine and topping. It was a choice dictated both by the need to work safely, but also by the need not to cause damage to the soil, which was particularly wet.
Flowering began later than last year, in line with more classic vintages and as for Nebbiolo ended around the last week of May.
Leaving behind a particularly rainy spring, since a few days summer has officially started; for now, it is marked by warm and sunny days, alternating with cool and ventilated nights.