DESUCKERING: THE REMOVAL OF SHOOTS FROM THE TRUNK
BIODIVERSITY AND TOP QUALITY
Healthy organically farmed vineyards
Can we really talk about biodiversity in a single estate? Can we say that a certain vine variety grows, develops and matures in substantially different ways across one single area? Yes, when it comes to Borgo Guarini, we can. We are in Firriato’s largest estate, in the heart of the Trapanese countryside, looking towards the Mediterranean sea under a clear blue sky. This is where Harmonium comes from: Firriato’s trademark wine, the perfect synthesis of three Nero d’Avola crus. In the peaceful Sicilian countryside our winegrowing heroes have finished the process of desuckering.
MANUAL SKILLS AND RIGOUR
Skilled hands perpetuating an ancient knowledge
Desuckering is an operation of green pruning that concerns the grapevine foliage. It is made during the vegetative activity of the plant and consists in the removal of shoots that are not fruit bearing and are called suckers.
Uncontrolled proliferation of suckers could compromise the development of the plant by dispersing its nutrients. Desuckering is usually performed between April and June, according to the weather conditions and the characteristics of the grape variety. In this time, shoots usually reach the length of 10-15 cm, presenting the ideal conditions for removal. In fact, if they were shorter, there would be a risk of stimulating the production of more suckers; if they were longer, removal would become more difficult because of their tendency to grow stronger. At Borgo Guarini, as in all Firriato’s estates, the removal of suckers is a manual process: all forms of mechanical desuckering are banned as they may harm the wood of the tree and facilitate the entry of pathogens. It is a laborious task that sees our winegrowers involved all day long in the removal of the shoots at the vineyard.
Harmony from the combination of three great crus
We have carried out desuckering also in the three plots of Nero d’Avola dedicated to Harmonium: three beautiful vineyards different from each other in terms of sun exposure, altitude, soil composition and microclimate.
The multiplicity and complexity of these factors give way to slight differences in the maturation of grapevines, so that some suckers grow faster than others. Therefore, in the Beccaccia cru desuckering took place over a week earlier than the Ferla cru which was the last to sprout. This is precisely what we mean by biodiversity and respect for nature: waiting for the normal development of grapevines and act only when the time is right.
However, such effort is fully rewarded by our Harmonium, that year after year allows us to enjoy an intense, full-bodied wine with a perfect balance between structure and elegance.