Tucked away in the hills of Arpino an exciting new project is underway. After working on the olive harvest I was happy to help a good friend of mine start his next Italian adventure, restoring a field back to its former glory as a thriving vineyard.
Before any work starts there is a lot of pre-construction work that takes place including soil sampling and choosing the appropriate vines for the location.
The project is estimated to be 5 years from initial preparation of the land to the production of the wine. Many people are playing different roles to ensure that all the early work is completed correctly. The field where the vines are to be planted has become a social hub, interesting the local and international community around Arpino.
The team first had to plough the land and rehouse any olive trees, these were taken and replanted where we picked the olives last October. Once the land had been ploughed and trees removed it was time to start setting out the main posts and positioning them at the right distances and angles ensuring they were the correct depth into the ground.
When spacing the posts, it’s important to allow enough distance between them as space is needed for ongoing work to take place, including the tractor moving through the vineyard. Ploughing the ground also helps aid drainage.
Replanting the olive trees in their new location ready for the next olive harvest:
Once the area has been measured and marked out,using a measuring stick and string lines to create the rows in which the vines will grow, the posts are then installed and things start to take shape. The bark is removed from the posts by hand before the posts are inserted a few feet into the soil.
The next stage was to install another type of post that is placed between the main wooden posts. The posts are metal and more specifically, Corten steel which is a brown/orange colour. Corten steel adds a self-protective layer to the steel and also adds to the rustic look rather than aluminium posts for this reason it is used in a lot of agricultural projects and also in architectural design/artwork.
The Corten posts are closed at the front with gaps for the wire to be added which the vines will attach to and open at the back. It’s important to install the Corten posts the correct way in which the land is lying, again to aid with the drainage as the water will escape from the open side of the post when it rains.
Open back to aid with drainage:
Once all the Corten posts are spaced out to the correct distance and set at the correct angles and the wire is installed. It’s time for more ploughing and to mark out and drill the holes ready for the 1800 vines to be planted.
The wines will be a mixture producing red and white wine:
Obviously, there will be a lot of ongoing care and attention to ensure that the vineyard progresses towards its end goal of producing sustainable, high quality local wine. I will capture the story along the way and look forward to showing all the steps involved in the cultivation side of the project another great experience again with fantastic people and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you all.
The A team :