Good Wine is Born in the Vineyard: Farming and pruning methods

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When we enter the vineyard, we at Cantina Pedres know that we will get the best results in the glass only if we can balance the idea of the wine we want to produce with respect for the vineyard. We attend to the yearly life cycle of the plants and to the balances that allow the soil to support them with love and competence. It is non-stop work that begins in the middle of winter, when the vine abandons its leaves, matures its wood, and enters dormancy. At that moment, we begin to perform a fundamental operation: pruning.

Pruning a vine is the first way a winemaker can stimulate the plant to produce high-quality grapes, and it varies according to the cultivation method chosen. The method changes both the shape of the vine and the number of buds it will be able to generate from wood at least one year old. For this reason, we decided to cultivate our Vermentino primarily using the Guyot method, where a not very tall stem is accompanied by a horizontal shoot called a “fruiting head” from which the shoots, flowers and bunches are born. A fruiting head can host up to a dozen buds.

This is not only one of the most suitable methods for high-level viticulture but also one of the most versatile: in the case of Vermentino, the Guyot method counterbalances the fact that the first two buds bear little fruit. Whereas Cannonau produces grapes from all the buds stemming from wood of at least one year old. This makes it suitable for multiple cultivation methods.

For our Cannonau we again chose Guyot, but in this case the high number of fruiting buds requires summer pruning in order to stimulate the plant to distribute nutrients optimally to the bunches to increase the quality of the fruit. Similarly, we have chosen to keep the plant close to the ground so that nutrients can flow effortlessly from the roots to the fruit.

During the warm seasons, light and heat will transform the nutrients in the soil into sugars, which will then become alcohol during fermentation. Only well-pruned vines cultivated according to the proper method will be able to successfully face the new year when temperatures will become milder, and the sap will begin flowing out from the pruning. This phenomenon is often referred to as the “weeping” of the vines. About one month later, the first shoots will be born, and they will grow to become leaves and shoots, whereas the first flowers will form two months later.

Once fertilized, these flowers will become grapes. The process will reach its climax first with the veraison when the changing color of the skin indicates the chemical variation of the content, and then the fruit will ripen, and the sugars, acidity, and aromas will have reached the level we desire. We will then finally have that quality raw material we had imagined at the beginning of the year, essential base to produce our Thilibas Vermentino Superior and the Cerasio Cannonau.