Cantina Fratelli Dorigati

Work amidst the vines

In order to maximise a vineyard it is necessary to have a lot of patience, humility and spirit of observation. 

There are many recipes for vineyard management, but only one finds an appropriate application and it is to know how to interact with the land.
Of course underlying this are the unquestionable scienticfic principles, but it is the winemaker’s love for his own vineyards that finally determines the end result of the harvest. 
We don’t know if this is true, and we don’t follow biodynamic principles. But what is certain is enjoying one’s own work and putting our heart into it impacts more than positively on production.
The winemaker’s serenity means greater care given to the needs of the plants and to the development determined by the harvest in progress.


The beginning of a new harvest year, historically the day of San Martino,  the 11th of November, coincides with the manual pruning of grapevines. 
Pruning starts with the fall of the leaves (December-January), when all the reserve sustances have been absorbed into the stem. 
Our vineyards are all cultivated according to the Trento pergola, on which short pruning is carried out, and in any case in relation to the vigour ofeach plant. 


The following work, between February and March, consists of tying, that is attaching the vine stocks that will produce grapes, on support wires. 


Fertilising is avoided on our Rotaliana field lands, where about 80 centimetres of the soil is very fertile. 
On the hill lands and foothills Mezzocorona mountain, characterised by soils consisting  of many stones and being very pebbly, fertilisation is only carried out with natural organic bovine fertiliser. 
This allows development of a good fraction of organic substance  (Humus) within the soil, thus improving naturally not only the mineral but also the structural fraction of the land. 

Phytosanitary Campaign

With the vegetative development ( March April ) also begins the phytosanitary campaign.
Here there are no precise rules, merely intuition and common sense.
In the Philosophy section you will reference to the Memorandum of Understanding, which we apply .
I f the wather condition do not become extreme, i.e. with back-to-back showers, we try to maintain a copper and suphur only defence , but with the arrival of extreme conditions, where necessary , systemic products are also used.
Also in this case, particular attention is paid to the territory, using alternatively different active ingredients, avoiding resistance by phytophageous species.
The battle against various Moths instead occurs with sexual confusion. 

Shoot thinning 

When the shoots are about thirty centimetres long, thinning of the shoots ( a form of pruning ) is performed, i.e. the manual elimination of double shoots sprouting from the same bud, in order to decrease the vegetative wall and to balance the plant ( April ). This operation normally takes place much earlier, when the shoots are 5-10 cm. We exploit this vegetative “ outlet” to decrease the excessive vigour that characterizes certain vineyards of the Rotaliana Plain.


We then proceed with deleafing of the plants (May ).
Here we use in part the tool of a mechanical air pressured deleafer wich is inevitably followed however by a manual step to finish the job by hand to refine the work, ventilating and arranging the bunches to that they hang from the oblique vegetative wall of the pergola. 
This operation has the task of balancing the vegetation and production development of the plant and increasing the effectiveness of the phytosanitary treatment. 
During the summer, a second step is undertaken.


In Trentino, and more precisely in Campo Rotaliano, there is every year approximately 1000 mm of precipitation, which is fairly high, if compared with other wine-growing areas. 
The draining lands of the Rotaliana Plain allow the water to flow quickly thus avoiding hydro stagnation harmful for the balance of the plants and for the quality of the grapes, but at the same time this inability to store water can lead to a water deficit, during the hotter summer weeks, which is overcome, when required, with emergency irrigation. 
The irrigation systems have developed from the sliding type to those using rainwater and the latest micro jet ones that ensure a balanced distribution of the water throughout the vineyard environment. 
During 2012 and 2013, all the commercial vineyards will be equipped with a drip irrigation system, thanks to the formation of a municipal irrigated consortium; this will allow significant optimisation of the water consumption. 

Thinning of production

A thinning of production commences during the summer and in the period before the harvest (July-August). 
In practice, a portion of the bunch (the tips) or the whole bunch is removed in order to decrease the production per plant, thus increasing the accumulation of substances in the berry, such as the polyphenols, which are responsible for the colour and structure of the wine. 
The aim is that the plant alone self-regulates to find the right balance of quality and production. 
At the time of ripening, when the berries take their final colour, changing from green to red (or yellow for the white berried varieties), a detailed inspection is performed taking into consideration each individual plant, and in the event that a plant is unable to carry its grape load to maturity, further thinning is performed. 


Finally, dulcis in fundo, after a year of work and sacrifices, the harvest arrives (September). When the optimal characteristics of ripening are achieved, the grapes are collected, ready to be vinified in our local winery. The next stage is enologic "alchemy" .