The cycle of the vine is one of the most fascinating among the plants present in nature. For this reason we believe it is important to inform the appreciators of our wines about the wonder we see every year before our eyes: The finished product that can be tasted on the table is the result of this incredible process that repeats itself, without ever Miss the appointment, every year.
The two main phases of the vine’s vegetative cycle are the rest period from November to February, and the active period from March to the end of October. The times may vary slightly depending on latitudes, grape varieties and especially vintages. We will refer to the cycle of the vine in our temperate Italian climates.
- The weeping of the vine
With the coming of spring, between March and April, the vine signals that it is waking up with a very suggestive phenomenon: it is the so-called “weeping” of the vine. From the winter pruning wounds comes out of the sap, sucked from the soil by the roots that are resuming their activity suspended during the winter. Since the plant knows that it suffered the abrupt pruning cuts of the shoots, it goes to “cure” these wounds, which thus heal themselves. It happened the first of many miracles that we will see.
- The budding
20-30 days after the weeping phase, the vine begins to sprout: The gems first swell, becoming “cotton”, that is, covered by a kind of baby that protects them from cold. Inside they are already present the Grappolini, which are still not seen, if not under the microscope. That’s why the vine keeps them well in the heat. So, very slowly, the gems are closed, open, until the first leaflets appear: Here is the budding.
So the newborn leaves grow more and more, and the new shoots develop. The small bunches start to be visible already from the first weeks. The growth of vegetation reaches its peak in June and continues until August, where the maturation of the shoots, which change color and become real wood: The vine knows that in a few months will be winter and thus strengthens its branches.
The flowering of the vine is not very showy. Who knows in fact how are the flowers of the vine for those who are not of the trade? Yet the vine also blooms, at the end of May-early June. It is a very important phase, because it can still be compromised by late frosts and rain. From a good flowering depends a good harvest.
- Fruit Set
It is the stage in which the flowers turn into fruits, the bunches: from each fertilized flower develops a berry, which progressively swells with water. At the end of June, the clusters will be already fully formed. This phase is also extremely delicate for a good year. It also starts to look at the danger of hailstorms…
As long as the clusters swell, they remain green, few chemical transformations occur within them. But in July the Veraature takes place: The clusters “turn” progressively of colour, from green to blue for the black grapes, from green to yellow for the white grapes.
The perfect maturation (depending on the varieties between early September and early November), which overlaps partly with the veraature, is essential to have rich and balanced wines. Only the perfectly ripe grape contains in correct balance the substances responsible for the aromas and scents of the wine. It is the stage in which the grapes are enriched with sugars: those same sugars that will turn into alcohol with fermentation. It is intuitive that a good warm and not excessively humid climate favors a good maturation.
- Winter rest
After the harvest, in the months of November and December, the leaves lose the Chlorophyla, it assumesndo those wonderful colors that we can admire, from yellow, to red, to brown. the leaves Co Yes they transfer the Their sap in the branches, as reserve for the winter. Nothing is lost… After that, knowing that they will not be able to holdno because they are too fragile, they can safely fall: they have done their homework, have Catt the energy of the Sun, which together with the lymph coming from the roots, have nourished the clusters, now in Cantin ready to become wine.
Now the miracle is ready to repeat again.