• My name is Marilena Barbera
    and I am a winegrower.
    I live and make my wines in Menfi, Sicily.

Vineyards along the Belice River are soggy with water
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A late spring is quite uncommon in Menfi.
Heavy rainfalls over the last three weeks are causing major inconvenience to farm works in the Belice Valley 

Between February and March I would usually talk about almond tree blossoming, beautiful days, blue skies and my first attempts at sun tanning.
On the contrary, it's been raining forever. Well, it's been three weeks now, but it seems like forever...

7-8 inches would be the average rainfalls of a whole winter in South-Western Sicily, except that we have had all of that rain in a very short time, and weather forecasts are still not nice at all. 

The Belice River is roaring with muddy waters turbulently flowing from the mountains, and we expect a flood in the next days: except for the inconvenience of further delaying all farm works, it's not so bad if it happens before the vines start to sprout up.

The River will bring lots of sediments to the soil, which will then turn into minerals and nutrients for La Vota vineyard, and extra fresh water supply that will collect in the deeper layers of the sandy terrain and will very much help during the summer.



All the vines are still dormant: the ground temperature is not warm enough, so they think it's too early to start weeping. This is great especially for the younger vines: as they are now focusing on wood-ripening, they will grow stronger and more resistant to diseases.
Also, a late spring means that we will most likely have a late budbreak, minimizing the risk of damages in the tragic event of frost or hail, and hopefully all of this rain will eventually reward us with a well-balanced harvest.

So, what's bad?
It's almost impossible to walk in the garden to pick lettuce and artichokes! 


Tags: La Vota, Tenuta Belicello, Fiume Belice, video

My story

My story

We have been winegrowers for three generations: a 100 years long story, a legacy of love and respect
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Wine book

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Photo album

My book of photo shots from my vineyard in Sicily, available in HR for download - please cite the source

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Video gallery

My YouTube channel with harvest stories, tastings, travels and meetings with very special people


Between a road map and a winery notebook, a personal digital moleskine with notes on winemaking, tastings and events, people I meet, places I see: my everyday life in the wine world.

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