Viticulture: fatigue for 12 months a year
Wherever man cultivates the vine, there are no real breaks in any time of year. We thought of outline, as far as possible, the activity that is carried out by the winegrower during each of 12 months. We will talk the story of the farm of the Cappannelle Holiday House in Castiglion Fibocchi ,Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy
Ii is one of the coldest months; is carried out pruning of vines. In some areas, the traditionalists are beginning to prune the 22 of the month, the day of St. Vincent, patron saint of winemakers. In any case, the work must be completed before the spring vegetative growth.
Continue pruning in the vineyard; in some areas may terminate already in this month. Instead, there is much to do in the cellar, where the new wine is maturing. It is necessary for controls meticulous so there are no problems that could damage the wine, sometimes beyond repair.
Pruning now coming to an end a little ‘everywhere; in the vineyard is plowing the soil to aerate and remove any weeds. Towards the end of the month, in the most temperate, on the wood of the vine apparently dead, appear the first leaf buds. Start the first show of nature.
After the appearance of the gems, starts the growth of leaves, shoots and flower buds, those who later will bear fruit. At this stage we can already understand roughly what will be the amount of product and the period in which vendemmierà. It ‘a delicate stage where any frost or heavy rain can cause millerandage, or where excessive heat and sun can cause the plants to bring more sap in the leaves and in the fruits, causing leaking.
In many areas can still very cold and the winemakers resort to fans and heaters to protect the vines from frost; they still work the soil to eliminate weeds. And ‘the period when downy mildew and powdery mildew can damage plants and may need to be treated with fungicides; fertilize the soil.
This is the period of pollination and flowering; if the climate is right, dry and warm, there is rapid flowering and appear the first bunches. Depending on the more or less strong climatic variations, may be formed bunches with berries with different degree of ripeness. After flowering, thin out the shoots and the best are attached to the supports. It may still be necessary to treat against powdery mildew.
Continue the formation and growth of clusters. Depending on the vine variety, you may have problems at this stage, that fruit set; one of the most delicate grape is Merlot; you need to thin out the bunches to ensure the remaining healthy development and flourishing. There are many wild weeds that it is better to delete. Powdery mildew can still be a threat.
Now begins the phase called veraison, in which major chemical changes take place inside the berries, which change color; The sugar content increases considerably. And ‘another critical moment in the vineyard: rain and warm, especially in the absence of ventilation, can promote the formation of unwanted molds, while excessive drought may slow the ripening of the grapes. It must work out a good amount of leaves, to promote a better passage of air and a good exposure of the bunches to sunlight.
Is made to the chamfer of the branches and green pruning, reducing a certain amount of bunches per plant, in order to concentrate on the remaining energy. This phase can begin, according to the mild climate, even in August. There are still dangers due to rains and drought. In some areas, and for some plants early, may start the harvest.
In almost all regions will harvest in quantity. For more grapes later, it may be necessary to wait until the second half of the month to begin the harvest. A collection is finished, the grapes are crushed and the skins, stalks and seeds (pomace) come partly scattered in the vineyard, with natural fertilizers and fertilizers.
A little ‘everywhere they return the first cold. At this stage it is only the root portion of the plant to be active. It cleans the vineyard and get covered strains screws soil to protect them from winter.
The most important, at this stage, is to trade, had the approach of the Christmas holidays. December 6 is put on sale the new wine and prepare the classic Christmas packages. At the end of the month, in many areas has already beginning the winter pruning.