My buds are opening!

The air has warmed up quite a bit here and the pleasant temperatures over the last few days have accelerated the awakening of nearly all the vineyards in our growing zone. And the number of new buds has grown as well.

In this moment, we are all busy “constructing” our new canopies, canes, and bunches.

And from what I can see around me, the vegetative cycle has begun for all the vines — regardless of the grape variety.

The Chardonnay, the earliest ripening here, has already produced buds with 4-6 leaves.

The Primitivo is also growing fast.

Nearly all of us Negroamaro vines have begun our vegetative cycles and are staying in step with the season. It reminds me of how the old grape growers used to say, te l’Annunziata, tutta la vigna ete parata, in other words, by the time that the Feast of the Annunciation arrives, all the vines will bud.

My buds have all already opened and the first little leaves are already showing. I have heard our viticulturist call this phenological stage the moment of open buds and extended leaves.

Vegetal phenology is the science that studies the relationship between climatic factors (temperature, humidity, photoperiod) and the seasonal manifestation of certain phenomena in the vegetative cycle (budding, flowering, ripening, falling of the leaves, etc.). “Phenological stages” are the different developmental phases of the plants during their vegetative cycle.

I get a lot of visitors these days and there is nearly always someone here in the fields with us.

Cataldo and Carmine observe and monitor our growth and the health of the new buds. And they plan and organize their farming practices accordingly.

Gianni, on the other hand, pretends that he’s simply strolling through the vineyards. But he’s actually already thinking about harvest and about what he’ll need to do to turn us into wine after we ripen.

This morning I saw a tractor cu ttaccato arretu l’aratru, in other words, with a hoe attached, as the old folks say in dialect. And if I’m not mistaken, it was Sergio who was driving.

Over the next few days, the tractor will probably come to my vineyard. The land needs to be tilled now in order to aerate the subsoil. This will help to limit the development of that spontaneous grasses that would otherwise “rule” the fields.

Last winter was really dry and there was little rainfall or humidity. Maybe this is the reason why I haven’t been attacked by those awful little snails, who seem harmless enough but usually crawl up my trunk in the hundreds so that they can feed on my new little leaves…

Written by Cataldo Ferrari, vineyard manager

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