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The vineyards

The vineyards are mostly situated on our farmland around Casavecchia at an average height of 440 metres above sea level and face south, south-east and east. Close by near the village of Sicelle (400m. above sea level) we have a small vineyard which faces north-east.
The soil is deep with a mix of clay and limestone; there is a substantial layer of crumbled rock which provides excellent drainage.
Over the last 15 years since 1992 we have replaced a large part of the vineyards using clones of Sangiovese selected both for their low yield and because they produce bunches of small sized grapes, thus providing an improved skin/must ratio. We have also introduced new varieties such as Syrah and Merlot. Of the 8 hectares under vine, 7 are Sangiovese - Canaiolo and Colorino are also present among the older vineyards; half a hectare is set over to Syrah and another half to Merlot.
The density of plants per hectare in the old vineyards is approximately 3000 and in the new, 5000. The vines are trained with the guyot and the single or double spurred cordon  systems, all at a height of 65-70 cms with a leafy growth of about 1 metre.
Dry pruning takes place between December and February when we leave about 10 buds on each plant. As the vegetation proceeds we look to create the best possible ratio of leaf growth, grapes and aeration by carrying out regular green harvesting, along with pruning and training of the vines. Optimal aeration is vital to reduce the chances of fungal disease. Yield is reduced by thinning out the clusters of grapes during the period of “veraison” when the grapes change colour – July/August between 25-50%.
Three weeks prior to harvesting the leaf growth is thinned round the grapes to guarantee maximum exposure to the sun and sufficient aeration.
Work on the soil is kept to a minimum; we do light harrowing between alternate rows of vines, as half of the rows have stable grass growth, and hoeing along the line itself in order to reduce the competition from the grass growing close to the plants. Fertilizers and anti-parasitic treatments are carried out with natural products which comply with the Reg. CEE 2092/91 which regulates Organic Farming.