GRAPEVINES FROM FLOWERING TO FRUIT SET
Shining in the Sicilian sun like Supernovae
It is the spring awakening of Firriato’s authentic Terroir, with grapevines in bloom across Sicily: from Baglio Sorìa in the Trapani countryside to the terraces of Cavanera on Mount Etna, from Borgo Guarini to Pianoro Cuddia all the way to the island of Favignana. Each grapevine is cloaked in splendour, its leaves are bright green and its flowers greet the arrival of summer. They are budding vigorously, waiting for the wind to carry the pollen from one plant to the other in a life cycle that is repeated year after year. The flowering of the vines, in the land of Sicily, has a duration ranging from 10 to 15 days, while the fruit set of grape clusters happens at the same time. It is precisely at this stage that the plants trigger a form of self-regulation: the nutrients are concentrated in a few buds, dropping to the ground the rest of flowers, thereby inhibiting loss of nutritive capacity for the development of the grape cluster soon to be born.
SCENT OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
The perfume of flowers stirs through the vineyards
In spring the air is full of fragrances, it is a celebration of Nature and Life. The sun is warmer, the earth has warmed and the plants enjoy the wonder of awakening. Many small flowers dot our vineyards with colours while their perfume spreads over miles driven by the force of the wind. The flower of the grapevine is hermaphrodite, meaning that it presents both a male and a female part. The male part is made up of stamens that are like a crown around the central female part called gynoecium. This one looks like a small amphora, characterised by an ovary at the base that houses the ovules and at the same time catches pollen from the wind. After successful fertilisation, flowers turns into fruits, growing larger and larger until they become berries and then ripe, healthy and infinitely tasty grapes.
The very first fruits on the plants
In the next stage after flowering and fertilisation, a small embryo is born that produces hormones stimulating the growth of the ovary. This natural phenomenon of development of the berry is known as fruit set. Firriato’s heroes in the vineyards of the six estates are committed to assisting the plants in this delicate stage that is essential for the formation of the grapes that will then be harvested at the right stage of ripeness.
From one vine type to the other, it is a painstaking job that requires skill and precision. It may indeed happen that some plants flower at a later time than others that have already reached the stage of fruit set.
High-precision grape growing made with love
Flowering and fruit set are two very delicate and important stages in the life cycle of plants. In these last days of spring, Firriato’s wine growers are engaged in the activities of care and protection of vineyards, to ensure top quality fruits. Avoiding the occurrence of pathogens and diseases is only possible through constant checking of phyto-sanitary issues and protecting the health of the environment from contamination resulting from the use of pesticides. The vineyards of Firriato’s six estates are all located in close proximity to environmentally protected areas, and this is why the vineyards are also farmed according to preventive measures aimed at protecting the delicate balance of these unique territories.