Wine doesn't arrive in the winery ready to drink. There's a long story behind it by then, a story made of hard work, magic, challenges and achievements. Would you like to follow along on the journey from vine to wine? Before a vine bears any grapes, it has already lived through a whole series of experiences that refine its character... A vine with character gives grapes with character and grapes with character give birth to a wine that captures the lives and events that went into making it. It's the story behind it that makes wine alive!
How does this story begin?
Like all stories, on a dark and stormy night ...
March – April
Spring is in the air!
The vines are bare. Coming out of winter, the vegetative cycle is dormant. The vine has no leaves and no grape clusters. It's the time when the grapevine's dreams of spring help it back to life. With the arrival of the first storms, and the first dark and stormy nights, something starts to happen ...
The sun begins to warm the now moist soil. The higher soil temperature triggers the plant to enter what is called the vegetative sub-cycle. The sap starts to flow, rising up the stem of the vine. It reaches the points where pruning was done and starts to seep out, forming small droplets. This phenomenon is known as weeping.
What is happening? Some of the sap, which is a sugar solution, is pushed by osmotic pressure toward the ends of the vine, bringing it back to life again. Spring gives life to the grapevine and, it's as if the vine is so moved, it cries for joy!
The vine usually begins to bud about this time of the year or in April. New buds break and develop, giving rise to tiny leaves. These begin to lengthen and grow. If the winter was a particularly severe one, some buds will never open and the damage done by the cold has to be reckoned with.
The warmth of April encourages the vine to grow. If the temperature is stable and without any abrupt changes, the vines will be stronger and more resistant to parasites. The buds continue growing ... and maturing over time, turning eventually into brown and woody branches.
But that's another story!
Between April and May, the first small bunches of grapes appear. Also the differentiation between pollen and ova occur. This is called the pre-flowering of the bunch. A complex phase called the production sub-cycle accompanies the vegetative sub-cycle and signals the vine's complete coming back to life. Winter is a then only a distant memory and the journey toward harvest time has begun!
Our winery is immersed in region characterised by its vineyards and their rows of marvellous grapevines. Why not visit us? Strolling through a vineyard as the rows of vines come back to life is a magical way to discovery about wine in its own territory.
The story of our grapevines continues. We await telling you about the next part, flowering!