THE GRAPEVINE DORMANCY
Lulled by Orpheus
Sicilian winter in Firriato’s estates
The grapevine loves the sun and the nice weather, nevertheless the winter resting period is extremely important. The grapevine resting period starts in December and ends in April. With the very first winter chill, the leaves change their color and start falling off the vine. A very oddly-named substance called abscisic acid (ABA) triggers this activity during the vine’s life cycle, regulating the seed’s dormancy and enhancing leaf senescence. The activity of this natural acid ends as the new buds sprout. However, during the dormancy season Firriato’s winegrowers continue their work in the vineyards, as pruning is followed by other farming practices aimed at protecting or increasing the soil fertility. Then, the green manure will restore the natural fertility level of the soil by reactivating microbial activity.
The sweet awakening
A rebirth after a fleeting sleepiness
When winter passes the baton to spring, the grapevines will sprout to new life with germination. The life cycle of the plant comes out of its state of rest and concentrates all its forces and energies on the birth of the new embryos. The vine shoots will become studded with tiny sprouts heralding the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new season. From the Cavanera pre-phylloxera vineyard on Mount Etna to the Calamoni coast on the island of Favignana, a new miracle of nature has been happening year after year, for centuries. Sleepiness is followed by an awakening: preparations are underway to safeguard and protect this explosion of life with the same determination as ever and with Firriato’s constant endeavour: producing the finest organic-farmed grapes to make wines that have enchanted wine lovers the world over.