As can be said for many human activities, cultivating the land and specially the vine is an occupation tightly connected to seasonality and meteorological events. It’s easy to understand that, being lead in the open air, is not up to us deciding its times but above all to the weather itself. And it manages anything: the period of pruning or budding or flowering.
Some mechanical processes are carried out just when the soil allows it, as it cannot be too dry or too wet. For example, very clayey soils once soaked cannot be worked for monthsuntil they get back malleable. But pay attention! If after the rain comes a great heat, as it often happens nowadays, they become hard as rock and is necessary to wait patiently and say goodbye to any programming.
Our beloved vine is a plant preatty sensitive to various phytopathologies, linked to the characteristics of the territory and the weather conditions. The consequent fungus get developped at various times of the year according to the climatic trend and the vegetative development of the plant. Unfortunately, neither the weather nor the vine and even less the fungus – check the calendar for our holidays or week-ends so that, especially in Organic cultivation, the interventions to combat them must be programmed without looking at Saturdays, Sundays, anniversaries or holidays. A friend who has been producing Organic for years together with his brother, had warned us: “growing in Bio is like taking care of a stable”. Indeed, cows needs eating, to be cleaned and milked and even give birth sometimes … but they don’t do it alone! So in the Organic vineyard from April to August you must always be on site. Specially if the weather does not cooperate.
Fortunately, a great help comes from new technologies: from weather forecasts, which are becoming more and more reliable, and from the weather-stations we use. They provide, through several sensors, lots of real-time data regarding humidity, temperature, leaf wetness, soil status and growth of vegetation. . These data, processed by software foreseing the development phases of the fungus, and associated with a good knowledge of the territory and its plants, allow timely treatments and often help to extend the time between them (reduction of environmental impact).
In any case, the close contact with the vines and the assiduous presence in the field remains fundamental. Only by spending time in the vineyard, we can find out the exact moments for the works, plan the phytosanitary treatments or the release of the useful insects used to defend plants and grapes.