I have my hands in my pockets because of the cold. In front of me, there is an enormous brown mound emitting a slightly unpleasant smell, which after a while I can no longer smell at all. It is manure! Priceless manure! Sandro is the tractor driver, and little by little, bucket load by bucket load, he transports this most important manure into the vineyard, where Dragi and Luigi, with hoes at the ready, fill previously opened furrows and cover them up again.
For years now, we no longer use chemicals to fertilise the land after the grape harvest. Our way is to use cow manure mixing it in spring and summer with leaf compost. The land is very clayey and limy, lacking very much in organic matter, a condition which helps to put each vine under stress so that it gives a better yield. There are obvious limits. The land needs to have its own soil improved, so that matter circulates better and becomes more capable of being absorbed by the roots of each vine. The only way is to cover it every two to three feet with good quality manure which is very difficult to source. Cow sheds are becoming fewer and fewer, and those remaining are labour intensive. We have located mountain farmers who supply us with manure which has been left under the winter snow, and it is really fantastic. The work is back-breaking, difficult and costly, particularly when the vineyard is already planted.

Rivetto agricultural manure business