Getting ready at Sant Elia

.Well it’s cold and bleak here in the UK. Apart from some early snowdrops, everything lies dormant, it remain so for at least another month or two. Spring will then arrive and everything will come to life again.

At Sant Elia, it’s busy, busy, busy…

The weather is getting warmer. 20 degrees yesterday! Buds are starting to burst. It’s a race against time, and all because of those grapes.

J is in Italy working at super speed. Where does he start? Racking the wine or pruning the vines?

The racking of the wine is really getting rid of the sediment that has sunk to the bottom of the tanks. This needs to be done at least twice, before the wine completely clears and can be bottled. It’s exciting, as it’s a time that you can see the improvement in colour, taste and aroma.

This year, as well as Montepulciano red and Verdicchio white we’ve tried rose, which I think will be a winner, it’s certainly looking and tasting good so far.

Next job, the vines!

I’m amazed how quickly they grow. During the late spring and summer the tendrils will grow to three metres plus and are covered with leaves, many of these leaves having to be removed so that the sun can get to the grapes.

The pruning, takes what are now bare tendrils, down to approx fifty cms. and around fourteen growing buds. Pruning at Sant Elia follows the Double Guyot style, meaning two canes leading off from the main trunk.

Although our vineyard isn’t big, 800 vines (about 2,000 bottles), it’s enough for one man to do.  They really are his babies, and he loves every one of them, therefore it’s a labour of love…at least the sun is shining!

Next come the fruit trees and vegetable garden.




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