After some quality family time with Suse, the scholarship travels have recommenced, with a focused look at Italian viticulture.
Alessandro Ceretto, Ceretto Wines, Barolo
100 ha vineyard with 4 winery with 4 DCOG regions, very expensive overheads to secure the right to label wines DCOG (appellation). Alessandro is the third generation viticulturist at this Barole House and is very passionate about organics and bio-dynamic farming. During development stages no soil tillage occurs, thus preserving the soil micro-fauna.
The Italians to are dealing with high alcohol wines with changes in their canopy management techniques, which involves less trimming and retention of more leaf at harvest, contrary to some of the French thinking.
Apart from copper and sulphur, Alessandro uses no pesticides and manages weeds undervine with slashers.
Alberto Cordero, Cordero Montezemolo, La Morra
19th generation land manager, on the same site his fore founders settled 700 years ago. Wine production started in the 1850 and has continued unbroken to this day. The marriage of old a new technology is very evident with raw livestock manure and natural yeasts being used across the vineyard and winery, whilst a robotic lawn mower tends to the lawns surrounding the winery.
Francesco & Ivano Reali, Castello Gabbiano, San Casciano
170ha vineyard, 50% leased and 10% being redeveloped. Records indicate wine was grown on the estate as far back as 1464, however unfortunately museum wines only date back 20 years.
Bud grafting during the past season has been very successful, with strike rates of 98% being achieved. This grafting appears popular with many growers chip bud grafting the desired clones onto rootstocks that have been in the ground for 12 months, rather than planting a grafted dormant vine.
Heavy reliance on large track working equipment, with 6 dozers & excavators working across 10Ha of vineyard redevelopment, removing rock. A costly exercise!
Thank you to the hosts of this leg of the journey a very interesting an engaging few days looking at Italian viticulture. Onto Japan for the final leg of the trip where I hope to visit as many businesses practicing CI as possible.