Viticulture

Viticulture and winemaking are conventional and traditional.

I use Guyot pruning and the fruiting cane is cut at 8-11 buds, depending on the site. A spur is cut at 2 buds for the following year’s fruiting cane. All vineyards are worked by hand for pruning, tying, trimming, scacchiatura, crop and shoot thinning, shoot arranging, trellis cleaning, weaving the “ar caplé”, and harvest. A tractor is used for mowing, treatments and soil work in Ginestra, Sotto-Rionda and Vignane. Every 4-5 years composted cow manure is applied as a fertilizer in late winter/early spring. The space between rows is worked by tractor (except in Castiglione, where 100% manual work is required), but the area around and between the plants is worked by hand (including hoeing and trimming the grass). All work in the trellises during the vegetative cycle is done by hand.

Each vine carries 6-9 bunches.

Hedging is not performed, instead I use the ancient ar caplé method of weaving the long shoots into a cap that gives shade to protect the fruit below from sunburn and also gives some hail protection. Very little green harvesting is performed as to not accelerate the sugar development ahead of tannic ripeness. Yields are 6,000-7,000 kg/ha (41-47hl/ha), somewhat less at the higher-altitude Monforte site.

I use traditional treatments of copper and sulfur in the smallest dosages possible to properly protect the plant and the fruit. A small amount of composted algae fertilizer is applied to the leaves 2-3 times per year for vegetative health and disease resistance. This delicate foliar application gives the plant the nutrients it needs for good vegetative health without pumping up the fruit load.