It was in my great grandfather Giovanni’s time that one did something similar, sowing barley, oats and clover between the rows. This is part of our “new” system for managing the vineyards, coordinated by the well-known organic agronomist, Ruggero Mazzilli.
In the agronomy books I studied at school, sowing in the vineyards was considered subsistence agriculture, with grains used to make maximum use of space in order to feed famished peasants. This, however, is only part of the truth.
Over the past year, I have begun to evaluate old conceptions of vine cultivation and I have come to realize that my father’s generation, that of my brother and then my own, all suffered a scholastic cultural manipulation, in order to facilitate the development and use of mechanization and chemicals in agriculture.
In reality it should have improved research based on observation of nature, but it was obscured by the power of multinationals and global interest in moving in the direction of petroleum.
It is a long and fascinating discourse, and in the coming months I will try to look more closely at it, trying to get you inspired about this alternative way of working the vineyard, which is based on independent research and good sense.
In October we had perfect weather for sowing in between the rows of vines in an alternating way, the plants that grow in the spring and summer will help towards the attainment of an optimal balance between terrain and vine. In this way, the plant will be healthier, being less stressed, and will also produce better. Certainly, we will have to observe it more carefully, perhaps this, too, is a fundamental part of the terroir…we will study it in depth soon!