Work in vineyard and cellar: spring
Article written in collaboration with Roberto Nantiat, winemaker of Tenuta Montemagno
Tasting a good wine is the final act of a sublime love story. A story that connects man and nature, the passion for the cultivation of vineyards and the acceptance of this attention by nature. But how much work is there behind a glass of wine? It is a work that lasts months, sometimes years, if we consider the time required to obtain wines matured 3, 4, 5 years and even more.
So let’s find out together the work that the winemaking technicians carry out in Tenuta Montemagno over the seasons so that the vines, in their path of development and growth, reach the optimal conditions to produce the bunches from which the good wine to be tasted will be obtained.
Let’s start this cognitive journey by talking about spring. An important and, at times, critical season, as it is subject to substantial changes in temperature (sometimes with the return of frosts), and even long periods of drought as happened this year in the months of February, March and April.
Without water, the plants slow down their growth, so in this period the technicians of Tenuta Montemagno have kept their attention high to catch any signs of suffering of the vines which, fortunately, have not appeared, a sign of a perfectly healthy cultivation.
May saw the return of rain which brought new energy for sprout growth.
While waiting for the rain to arrive, shredding and mowing (that is, cleaning the ground from grass) began between April and early May. An operation that facilitates the absorption of rainwater and eliminates water competition between the vine and the grass. These operations are performed exclusively with the use of mechanical tools and without chemicals.
Green pruning was carried out between May and June, namely the suckling and removal of side growths in excess. This well-calibrated operation allows to balance and facilitate ventilation within the leaf mass, with the advantage of reducing susceptibility to fungal diseases and increasing the capacity of sun rays absorption.
Starting from March, with the vegetative restart of the vine, the vineyard requires careful management of growth and operations to be carried out, in order to ensure the best vegetative-productive balance and therefore be able to arrive at harvest with a quality product.
The same can be said for the commitment required in managing the cellar works. As for the still white wines of Tenuta Montemagno (Musae, Nymphae and Solis Vis), following the alcoholic fermentation, the wines were kept in contact with the yeasts (refining sur lies) for about six months and bottled at the beginning of the spring.
The spicy and fresh Ruber (Grignolino) and the mellow and intense Violae (red Monferrato) were subsequently bottled.
In March the draft of the Barbera vinified in white was carried out, to produce the Spumante TM Brut. This operation is followed by about a month of refermentation and will remain for the next 24 and 36 months in refining on the yeasts.
The wines still present in the cellar remain in refining, some inside steel tanks (Austerum, Nobilis, Invictus) and some inside wood (Mysterium), waiting for the perfect moment to be bottled.
A lot of work to be done in spring and a lot of love we give to produce wines in the optimal conditions to reach tasting tables around the world.