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  • Getting ready for the 2019 harvest…

    Across the northern hemisphere, grape growers and winemaker like the Cantele family are gearing up for the 2019 harvest.

    That’s an artistic shot of Cantele winemaker Gianni Cantele in the vineyards, taken this week.

    As grapes reach optimal ripeness, the growers need to be constantly testing sugar and acidity levels. That’s because one of the most crucial moments — indeed, the most important moment — is when they decide to begin picking and which blocks they’ll pick first.

    At Cantele, it’s always the Chardonnay that’s harvested first (at least most of it; they leave some in the vineyard for a late-harvest wine they make).

    Of course, growers depend on lab analyses of the berries to determine the right moment to begin the harvest.

    But more than anything else, they rely on their time in the vineyards. As Gianni will tell you, he can tell when the time is right just by walking through the vines and sampling the fruit.

    Stay tuned for updates on Cantele’s 2019 harvest!

  • A horse in the vineyard: Sustainable farming at Cantele

    Why did winemaker Gianni Cantele post this picture of himself with Cantele’s longtime vineyard manager Cataldo Ferrari and a horse?

    It’s because the Cantele team has been using a horse-drawn plough to de-grass its vineyards this year.

    Over the last decade, the Cantele family has been working toward a goal of 100 percent sustainable farming practices. Even though the Cantele winery isn’t organic certified, the majority of fruit used to make its wines is organically farmed — i.e., without the use of synthetic herbicides or pesticides. Even in those cases where synthetic products are used, they are applied as sparingly as possible. It’s a reflection of a growing movement of grape farmers in Italy and Europe who are practicing a new and novel approach to sustainability in the vineyards.
    Continue reading A horse in the vineyard: Sustainable farming at Cantele