Summer Vineyard: The Fundamental Stages of the Harvest

There is a crucial moment in making wine that is evident to most everyone in the vineyards. But what is not as evident to most is how much work goes into getting the vineyard in shape to make it to this perfect moment. This is a process that never ends, especially in the summer.

What exactly are these fundamental activities that are carried out in the vineyards during the summer months? We asked Carpineto’s agronomist Mauro Micheli.

The majority of work in the vineyard in the warmer months begins in May and goes to harvest season. The work includes pruning, thinning and shoottopping of the vines.

Pruning consists of eliminating excess buds in order to give balance to the plants so we have the grapes we want. This is most important especially in years like this one where there has been a lot of budding, and by consequence excess branches.

Thinning is an activity that is carried out from the setting period (when fruit develops after flowering) to veraison (grape ripening phase). This can also be done close to harvest. Depending on the vintages. The thinning consists of eliminating excess bunches, again with the scope of balancing the plant as well as the vineyard as a whole. There are areas of the vineyard where grapes can ripen earlier, and others where they can ripen later. The goal is to arrive at harvest season with uniformly ripe grapes.

Thinning, depending on the year and climate, is another process used to avoid clusters of grape bunches that can eventually cause mold. This activity also allows us to control production in terms of quality in compliance with regulations, for example here in Montepulciano we cannot produce more than a certain amount in order to be able to produce Nobile.

Topping is an activity that is carried out precisely in this period and is done to contain how much the plants grow by cutting the branches. This ensures the plant does not grow meters and meters, intertwining and even creating a microclimate that could cause vine diseases.

It is therefore our job to intervene with topping, cutting the shoots to a predetermined height so that the plant can grow healthily and channel its energies to its leaves and fruit, ensuring the precise ripening of the grapes for harvest which would not happen if the plant was over-developed. 

This is of course just an overview of some of the most important summer activities in the vineyards, as they require dedication throughout the year, from harvest to harvest. We do it with extreme care and attention, in order to get perfect grapes and always guarantee the highest quality from our wines.