“Sconcatura” around old alberello vines

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Working the vines with the hoe

Working the vines with the hoe

Opening the foot or base of the vines are important after a season of draught. The 2012 vintage was very dry which was perfect for cleanliness of the grapes. The downside resulted in hydric stress of the vines. Even this winter there is little rain or snow so far and so I decided to work through most of the vineyards to open the soil and where necessary also work the foot of the vines, called “sconcatura”, or opening the foot of the vine with the hoe and creating a funnel around the vine.

"Sconcatura" around old alberello vines

“Sconcatura” around old alberello vines

In this way the vine can accumulate more water over the winter period and will be able to regenerate better. Another advantage is that the superficial roots can be cut so that the roots of the vine can go down deeper, which is especially important for the young vines.
This job is impossible to do annually in all of our vineyards which amount today to over 60.000 vines. Therefor we select for this work the vineyards which suffered the most during the year to give them a special treat.

Riccardo planting poles

Riccardo planting poles

At the same time that we do the work with the hoe, we also adjust the poles and add the final chestnut poles to young vines or regenerated vines.

The local chestnut from Etna is long lasting for poles for vineyards as the wood is better adapted to the slightly higher acidity of the soil compared to acacia or other durable wood. We buy 2 years in advance the wood from chestnut trees grown on Etna’s lava soil and leave it to rest before cutting the poles. The poles again are left to dry and age for a year before roasting the tip and planting them in the soil, next to the vine.

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