PLANTING THE VINE CUTTINGS

We are in winter, waiting for planting the vine cuttings. Towards the end of February, and some days, in Liguria, seem to be giving way to spring.  Then the rain comes back again. Stefano Legnani, in this period, observes the weather and begins to sift his compost, waiting for a few consecutive sunny days to plant the cuttings. This step is carried out periodically in the vineyard to replace the unproductive cuttings after they become ill. It happens, especially when you work the vineyard without the use of pesticides.

compost

How are the cuttings planted?

The cuttings can be planted in different ways based on two elements: the size of the vineyard and the workforce available. In the Ponte di Toi vineyard, we use the most ancient method. We dig a hole using a small drill; then, we embed the rooted cuttings into the hole. Only the graft is left protruding. The graft is the last centimetres of the plant, characterised by a light layer of wax that protects the new buds. When the cuttings are laid, two further steps will follow: we add a supplementary layer of compost and a mycorrhiza tablet (now let’s see in more detail what it is). At this point, we fill the hole back up, making sure the soil is compacted. This way, earth and roots come together, becoming a unicum.

planting the cuttings

Why compost?

The result is called self-produced compost, from the vineyard waste itself (you can reread its importance here): twigs, stalks, pomace, grass. The aim is to create a virtuous productive circle, which gives back to the earth what the earth has generated.

Why mycorrhizae?

If you think of something chemical or synthetic, we are pleased to announce that it is not. Mycorrhizae trigger a process of natural stimulus. Mycorrhisation is responsible for a symbiotic association between the plant’s roots and some fungi already present in the soil. The fungus colonises the roots, providing mineral nutrients. The fungus creates a web of filaments (called hyphae) that grow outside the plant’s root, allowing it to reach a considerably higher soil volume. The result is a greater absorption capacity of nutrients and water.

This is Stefano’s vision on planting the vine cuttings. An approach to nature intended as a help and not an artificial alteration.

written by Elisa Alciati & translated by Laura Fermi