New vineyards

In 2011 we decided to expand our plantations so we built two new vineyards. One in the nearby town of Besazio and the other one in Rancate. Both properties are ours and before this operation they where hay fields.

In Rancate we started at the beginning of the year.

In roughly a month we planted 3’000 square meters of vines.

First we had to fertilize the ground.

Than it needed to be plowed and leveled.

In Besazio we actually started before 2011.

This place has a special history. About a century ago in these terraces, farmers planted wheat. Approximately fifty years ago these fields where abandoned and eventually the forest swallowed everything. When my father bought this property around twenty years ago and discovered that these woods where full of drywalls, he immediately started to clean it up. Even if the big part of the job was done during the first year, it almost took fifteen years to bring it back to it’s original look.

During every season there where some minor clean-up jobs to do.

Than in 2011 we decided to plant a vineyard and embarked in a gargantuan mission; fixing 4’000 square meters of walls. All the profiles where eroded so we had to bring them back to level. Certain parts where completely destroyed due to the activity of wild bores, deers and other animals. By doing this we gained space and made more secure the working environment.

This is a job that kept us busy for two full winters. Our mission was a bit insane, reconstruct them the same way our predecessors did; ALL BY HAND.

This is how the place looked like before the restructuring of the walls.

Than we measured the rows and planted the poles.

Once the rows where done we prepared the plants and put them in the soil.

When it was all planted we installed the wires and fixed the small metal poles. They will be needed to attach the plants and initially to give them the right shape as they are growing.

Now four years have passed. We had a small harvest in 2012 but the first full harvest was in 2013. Lots have being done at the beginning but more has happened in the following years.

It is quite an honor to have one of the few vineyards in the world to fall under the UNESCO heritage.

As this mountain (St. George Mt.) is in it for having some of the oldest fossils on this planet, also the activities and produces growing on it are considered part of it.

Once all the walls where done it was time to do the same thing as in the other vineyard: concrete poles, metal poles and wires.

But in some cases, to make it look perfect above ground we had to make an extra effort. Sometimes the rock was right under the dirt and didn’t allow to plant the poles.

In order not to burn the newly planted vines it was important to well water them! Unfortunately at the beginning we didn’t have water supply up here but luckily we have a small stream which we can use to collect what we needed.

For drainage reasons and to keep the esthetic, it was necessary not to use any concrete. When it rains the water pores out of everywhere and than disappears again. There are lots of underground caves. Part of the reason why these walls are now still standing, is because they are whether proof. The old folks really knew how to build stuff. But also because it was cheaper!

Some machinery work was necessary to remove leftover stumps and to break rocks. We are sitting on marble and right next to us there is an old abandoned cave. The material cut from this region, due to it’s particular grain, has being used throughout history to decorate very important buildings in Europe.

Than once the structure was all done we planted the vines.