Viticulture in almost all of Italy is considered a process where every year a natural bounty is offered because God loves the owner. A small percentage of wineries see the soil of their property as the holy key to a unique wine and spend the year doing everything they can think of to produce the best possible fruit from it.
This year we suddenly had frost in May for three nights. We lit wood fires lit every twenty meters in the plains; the thick low smoke freed the high pressure in the vines. Compared to all the burned and bare valley bottom vineyards in Chianti (and up to Chablis, we’ve all seen the pictures of what they have had to do there for frost), the freeze was very minor, so the vineyards arenow as tall and green as any year.
Now, with the drought, fifteen people sleep during the day in order to go spraying water on the foliage every night from two to seven in the morning when the pores are open and the plants can suck in the water. The worst of the heat is ahead of us, but at the end we can do well, using many tricks.
We generally every year go in the vineyard and treat every vine twenty to twenty-five times during the growing season: to thin, hold up, cut away, spray glues or powders, hoe and dig, top and pick. We then do innumerable pickings for two months at harvest. In the winter four more long visits are spent on each vine to prune, tie and to mend the poles and wires. Maybe five or six producers in Tuscany work like we do, but even they I think don’t do some of our practices.
– Andrea Franchetti