The president of the Consortium for the protection of Iuculano wines: «Berry ripening resumed» Orsolani (Confagricoltura): «We need to rethink our planting system»
The strong storm last Saturday saved the Erbaluce and Canavese Rosso vineyards, which were seriously threatened by drought.
«The vine has suffered: – says Antonino Iuculano, president of the Consortium for the protection of DOCG Caluso and DOC Carema and Canavese wines – but the abundant precipitation came to the rescue of the grape which immediately resumed ripening compromised by drought. At this point the fears of a harvest reduced to a minimum are averted. And if it rains a few more days, the quality will also improve. Around 20 August we will therefore take stock of the situation to decide the dates of the harvest. Which could happen at the usual times. So starting from the second week of September ».
Last month, in the absence of rainfall and with the land burnt by the sun, the producers associated with the protection consortium and those who give the grapes to the Erbaluce di Caluso producer cooperative had resorted to the so-called “rescue wetting”, possible only in the areas of low hill. The vines were bathed by the winegrowers who loaded wooden barrels, or tanks filled with water, onto the tractors or in the lower hills in the early morning. The vineyard is reached by tractors loaded with water barrels which are then poured into the ground. Even more delicate was the situation for young plants, which need water more frequently. In this case, small channels are dug into which the water brought by the tractors is conveyed.
Bartolomeo Merlo, president of the Erbaluce di Caluso producer cooperative, which brings together 160 small producers for a total vineyard area of about 120 hectares, also breathed a sigh of relief. «However, it is too early to make predictions about the harvest, both for the quality and for the dates of grape harvest – Merlo emphasizes -. Some say it could happen in advance, but it all depends on the rain ».
Look to the future Gianluigi Orsolani, producer of San Giorgio Canavese and vice president of Confagricoltura Turin. «It is certainly a serious situation that poses the problem of how to manage the vineyards in our territories. The vine is also grown in drought areas, but certainly not with our planting system. For this year, on the other hand, we only have the possibility of emergency wetting for a very small part of the vineyards. Or in a more extensive way to proceed with the so-called green harvest, to keep the plants in balance and try not to put them into stress ». Even the policy of the City of Wine is attentive to the problem: for the minority group leader Davide Motto, who brought the question to the municipal council – “we need a future environmental intervention plan regarding the lack of water”.
The deputy mayor and councilor for agriculture Luca Chiaro announces the creation of an ad hoc focus and recalls what has been done so far: “In addition to the measures implemented by the Consortium of the canal for the irrigation of the fields – he said in his speech to the forum Whoaro – we are preparing, in agreement with the agricultural sector organizations, a letter to be sent to the Piedmont Region asking for exceptional measures to save the agricultural economy of our territory, which is primarily suited to viticulture. These include the design for the construction of water basins ». Lydia Massia