Overlooking the southern side of Cascina Nuova hill, a breathtaking panorama of the snow-capped peaks of the Maritime Alps opens up in front of us.
The snow and the rain proved to be the two great absentees during this past winter. The weather of recent months was characterized by a general lack of rain, partially mitigated by shy spring rainfall, which wet the area especially in early May.
Weather conditions during the first part of the year
The weeks between the end of January and February, during which the pruning operations of the vine were carried out, were characterized by beautiful days, with average temperature, but complete absence of rain.
Water is an essential resource for the vines, not only during the summer months, but also during the initial stages of vegetative growing season. Although our plants sink their roots in a soil with a high water storage capacity, the prolonged absence of rainfall could cause water stress, with the risk for the vines to suffer a delay in development and growth.
In order to prevent this issue, it is essential to intervene as soon as possible in the vineyard to reduce the competition between vines and grass that grows spontaneously in the rows.
Spontaneous grassing assures several advantages, such as limiting erosion, improving the soil’s bearing capacity and enriching the soil with organic matter, but at the same time it competes with vines, reducing the availability of water and nutrients for the latter.
We do not use chemicals and herbicides in our vineyards; therefore, the management of the inter-row and under-vine is completely mechanical. Priority is given to the areas that suffer most from water scarcity, such as the plots with warmer microclimate.
The first step is to manage the under-vine, followed by the chopping of the grass in the inter-row. Then, we facilitate absorption of rainwater from the soil through a delicate tillage.
In the last few days, we have started the operations of suckering, which involve the removal of green shoots from the trunk of the vine. Also in this case, the operation is carried out early and manually in order to intervene accurately and meticulously.