Wine, between extraordinary and unique specificity, has the measure of time, that which flows or flows away and that which remains witness to the past. It’s for this reason that we try, now that the wine is racked, to retrace the 2014 season at Maliosa with the help of metrological data provided by the Terme di Saturnia Spa.
I have paid great attention to the agroclimatic conditions, monitoring with, among other things, mechanical equipment, for more than 20 years. But I’ve never before seen such a ‘special’ year. It reminds me of 1977, without sun and extremely humid, but this year was still different. No two years are ever the same – how wonderful is that?! The high points of 2014: a year without summer, a promising May, followed by a June with 94mm of rain, July… 14 days and 137mm of rain, August… non-existent and still plenty of rain, September… best forgotten, October… floods and dramas in the Maremma.
And here is our defence against the expected pathogens, powdery mildew and downy mildew: a mechanical atomizer and electric propulsion backpack pump. The effective use of insecticides per hectare is as follows: 2,548kg of copper; 39,70kg of powdered sulphur; 15,68 kg of wettable sulphur.
The results are positive, I would say extraordinary, as we have conclusively shown that you can control pesticides in biodynamic vineyards with non-hazardous products and in small doses. This is also the result of a comparison between the mechanical sprayer and electrical backpack pump. The latter enabled a more targeted treatment and lowered the consumption of insecticides by 55% (broadly speaking, of course).
With my usual stubbornness, we ‘closed ranks’ to deny any mechanical passage through the rows and gave life “to man in the vineyard”, walking along to comb it, defend it, remove useless leaves, prepare the bunches and then collect also with the four harvest steps and… above all, the rigorous selection of bunches and within bunches that generated almost unacceptable costs. But we smiled only afterwards… when the racked wine showed us that we ‘needed to do so’. We will speak about these emotions as soon as the wine has finished ‘leaving behind’ memories of the grape to start a life of its own.
And Cesare Pavese comes to mind… with: “We have only this single virtue: to begin, each morning, our life—in the face of the earth, beneath a hushed sky—awaiting an awakening.” Music to the mind, the body and the continued desire to live.