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LA VOTA
Defoliation of cabernet sauvignon vineyard

Defoliating the Cabernet

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Canopy management is one of the most important vineyard operations before the harvest

The Cabernet Sauvignon of La Vota vineyard is a thick wall of leaves, it’s green arms raised to the sun, flexible shoots waving in the air, a tangled and intertwined forest that shines and whispers and hisses in the wind.
The clusters are hidden deep inside the shady belly of that forest, slowly turning from green to opalescent blue, glowing in their pruinose wrap. The berries are small and round, mildly sour and astringent today, but already on their way to imminent ripening.

We walk into the rows to defoliate. 
It’s a slow meticulous work: you first raise the branches that almost touch the ground, fixing the edges on top of the trellis, rolling them around the upper wire. We’ve got five wires, but even if we had a sixth it probably won’t still be high enough to keep all the shoots in place. The result is a green fence taller than a man.

Then, you plunge your arms into that green wall, brushing past the leaves to reach the clusters, and you start to clear some space tearing the surplus leaves off: big leaves and tiny ones, dead leaves, young suckers and small sprouts, green clusters that are too small and immature to get ripe, dried raisins caused by a bad flowering. You discard the unnecessary and only keep the essential, with the purpose of giving body and intensity to the wine-to-be.

And all those leaves and shoots and sprouts and clusters that are now laying on the ground may well be unnecessary, but they are not worthless, for they are coming back to where they belong, giving strength and nutrition to the vines, in the endless cycle of life.

 

Tags: La Vota, cabernet sauvignon, Tenuta Belicello, viticoltura

THE SHORT STORY

THE SHORT STORY

Grape variety: Inzolia grown in Dietro le Case vineyard
Soil: clay soil with calcareous components, very rich in limestones and sea minerals
Vineyard: planted in 1960s, head-trained bush vines
Winemaking: skin contact for 48 hours in steel tanks
Alcoholic fermentation: spontaneous, with wild yeast
Malolactic fermentation: spontaneous
Refining: 4 months on fine lees, in steel tanks
Aging: one oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment
Average production: a few dozen bottles every some years

Download wine sheet

WINEMAKING

The grapes are handpicked the first half of September, when they are fully ripe. The traditional pruning system - called "a pezzo e spalla" - and the age of the vines, allow slow constant ripening cycles and a great aromatic concentration.

The fermentation is spontaneous, with 2 days skin contact. After soft pressing, the fermentation continues for 8 days in steel tanks. After malolactic is completed, the wine refines on fine lees for about 4 months and is then racked into one single oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment.

The wine is bottled directly from the barrel no more than 2-3 times every decade.

TASTING NOTES

Altrimenti has a bright amber color, enlivened by golden hues. Its nose is predominantly tertiary, where fruity notes of apricot and ripe figs blend onto an intense and aromatic herbal background, enriched by roasted and dried nuts.

It is dry and full bodied to the palate, with a distinct savory personality that harmoniously meets a tannic finish.

SERVING TEMPERATURE: 54 - 58 °F
Pour Altrimenti in wide glasses, at a fresh but not chilled temperature.
Please avoid freezers and blast chillers, as well as a prolonged time in your home refrigerator: this wine is not filtered nor fined, and any temperature below 40 °F will mortify its complex aromas.

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