It’s the time of the year when the growers are thankful for the lack of snow, which can make winter pruning a
lot more difficult, with temps in the high 30’s to low 40’s, one would think gloves and an heavier jacket would be needed.
This is very labor intensive work, always done by hand, after pruning, a game of tug-o-war is “played to remove
all the vine material then it is laid in the center of the rows to be mulched up by tractors.
Meanwhile, back at the cantina, winter means time to rack wine. This means transfering all the wine in barrels to large s.s. tanks
then taking the barrels outside for steam cleaning after which the barrel stacks are rebuilt and refilled with wine, not bad
work on a sunny day here at the Fontanabianca winery in Neive. A great view of our new town in the background, Neive alto.
However this work can be miserable when your cold and wet and without any sunshine to warm you up.
If you are a shop keeper rather than a winemaker, you just close up shop for a few weeks and go south
to warm up. We have turned into weather wimps, back in Minnesota we would be very hapy with lows
of 30 and high’s in the 40’s, but now we are freezing in these temperatures and all bundled up like it
minus 20 F.