I work hard in the summer to ensure a good outcome in the autumn…
The vines on the landscape of the Langhe are splendid sights that enchant tourists and locals alike. They are like geometric drawings that contrast with the usual disordered growth of nature.
The Langhe became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the hills lined with these rows. Not even nature could have designed them in such a harmonious way.
As it turns out, this magnificent orderliness, these graceful curves that follow the hills, all the vines’ glory is the product of SO MUCH WORK!
The summer period is one of the hardest times of the year when you’re preparing to begin harvesting your vineyards in September. There are many jobs to do, including many that need to be done every day in order to allow the vines to grow well and the grapes to ripen properly. If you happen to take a trip to the Langhe and the Monferrato regions during the summer, you will experience the vineyards as a luxurious, verdant landscape that shows off its foliage without shame.
I find that walking or driving in the middle of these places gives you a boost of energy! For the farmers, though, there are no days of celebration during this period. Instead there are days worrying about storms, too much heat or too much rain. Every vine is like an unborn child: the farmers care for it, nurture it, help it grow, and then they are rewarded at harvest time!
When a vine has been looked after with love, it results in a superior wine! Our farmers are more than aware of this.
Here are the stages of processing that take place over the course of July and August:
Laying down the branches so that the workers can successfully pass between the rows for the various harvesting tasks.
Applying fungicides, especially useful to ward off the Peronospera infection (the main disease to fight, as it affects the picking), Oidium (gray malodorous mold, which can quickly affect the whole vineyard), Botritis (“gray rot”, which affects the quality of the vines) and Black rot (a typical fungal disease that comes at the end of July
, and which causes the
grapes to brown and rot completely in a short time).
Removing the shoots, this consists of cutting off the bottom part of the shoots, and is done in order to contain the excessive growth of the vegetation and t
o promote the formation of new leaves, which are useful to the clusters.
Mowing the grass, very important to allow all the farming equipment to pass between the vines’ rows, but even more importantly so as to make sure parasites don’t develop.
Removing the grape leaves in order to make it possible for the sun’s rays to pass through to the leaves and ensure that the grapes develop in a lush and healthy way.
We think this “mini-lesson” on the basics of agriculture might just make you want to extend warm thanks to our talented farmers! We will see you in September to see if the 2018 year can be defined as an excellent year.
And the next time you drink wine, think for a moment about just how much work is contained in that glass!