The concept of sustainability, if applied to agricultural activities, refers to a conservative management of assets such as water, soil, animal and plant genetic resources, able to reconcile their use with their maintenance for the benefit of generations to come.
In fact, the farm must keep an eye on changes and technological orientations, so as to update the cultivation technique and make it appropriate both from a technical and environmental point of view.
The use of a production method with a higher degree of sustainability is an important result. The producer’s attention to the protection and conscious use of resources increases.
As we have often emphasized talking about our company philosophy and our production techniques, we do not like to interfere in the work that nature does, independently of man, except when necessary.
This is certainly because the cultivation of grapes in rows, pruning, working the earth and so on are all elements that are not “natural” but which occur by the hand of man. Starting from these “interference” we prefer not to add chemical elements, fertilizers, if not produced by the vineyard itself, or other elements that can create a more “pumped” but unnatural final product.
We have also eliminated the irrigation of the fields, a practice that was used in the days of our ancestors. We cannot take all the credit because this choice was certainly allowed by our soil, which being more sandy than clayey, retains a lot of water. Does the soil affect this choice? I would say yes, it depends on the ability of the soil itself to act as a reservoir.
In our case, even if it hasn’t rained for weeks, digging a little, even with your bare hands, you can touch the damp earth, you feel it immediately, after a few layers. This allows the roots to have water even in the hottest periods, frequent in Sicily.
This year was a very different year from the previous ones. A very rainy winter that often did not allow us to work in the vineyard due to the heavy rains. Working the land we inevitably depend on the weather which can be more or less generous thus influencing our daily work.
Fundamental in the choice of not introducing a water system is the evaluation of the stress that the lack or excess of water can cause to the plant. Stress at an early stage can limit the production, leading to the obtaining of smaller berries. To decide whether to irrigate, it is necessary to consider that the lack of water determines a reduction in the stomatal opening, with negative effects on the quantity and quality of the obtainable production, but here we go a lot on the technical.
As we have often emphasized, the well-being of the earth and plants is our first goal, which is why the decision to eliminate irrigation was very careful and well thought out. Basically we try to cause as little stress as possible to plants and, on the contrary, to put them in the safest and most natural conditions possible.