first bunches italy 2012

Diary of a vine: the first bunches

June 3, 2012

I’ve heard people say that flowering in Salento is done. Here in the vineyard, we’re all relaxed and taking it easy. Right now, our attention is focused on the growth of our berries, which develop quickly during this phase as they grow from the size of a peppercorn to that of a pea. Then the berries begin to touch one another and the bunch begins to gain weight. We are passing through the phenological stage known as “bunch closure.”

The green harvest in our vineyard is finished. I’ve heard people saying that in a few days, the women will come to remove the buds that grow on the nodes of our leaves (where they are attached to the stems) and to trim the leaves. But they won’t do so until Sergio has finished the topping (in other words, the trimming of the top of the vine canopy).

June 13, 2012

Today, they have harvested the wheat on the other side of the rode. It ripened well and the harvest took place right on time.

Since yesterday the women have been working in the vineyard, removing the buds from our nodes and trimming our leaves. Once they finish this operation, I won’t see them again until harvest.

I don’t love these interventions on my “hair” and to tell the truth, Cataldo doesn’t care for them either. But according to Cataldo, if they didn’t do this, my abundant vegetation would end up falling in between the rows and would intertwine with the other plants. If this happened, the tractors would be able to pass through the rows without damaging me and the other vines. Plus, in this situation, the bunches would be entirely wrapped up by the vegetation and this would encourage the development of fungus, bacteria, and insects (because of the lack of light and air).

Today, it seems that the flight of the vine moths has begun. The traps have been catching the adult moths for a few days now.

—Cataldo Ferrari

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