Adopt a row of vines, an opportunity for aspiring winegrowers
“I’m going to drop everything and move to the country.” How many times have you thought this after a long day of being chained to a desk! The desire for an unspoiled patch of ground and a simple life at one with nature often falls by the wayside for lack of time and space.
We created the Adopt a Row of Vines project to make this deep-felt need fit in with everyday life. For an entire year, Adopt a Row of Vines offers the rare opportunity to be an accomplished winegrower and maker in the heart of the Barolo DOCG terroir, in the Castelletto vineyard of Monforte d’Alba. Join the many “adopters”, enthralled by tending their Nebbiolo vines and watching them prosper over the year.
When you adopt a row of vines, you encounter every step of winemaking, from the beginning of winter through the harvest months. You participate in the entire process and learn it from start to finish. In December and January, we explain the complex process of Guyot pruning. The Guyot vine training system focusses the flavours of the terroir by limiting the number of grape clusters on each plant.
With the passing of winter, the new shoot – carefully selected via the winter pruning – begin to bud. Then it is time to trellis the vines. The work of trellising ‘tidies’ the vineyard and sets the stage for the formation of grape clusters. As young, green shoots tend to loll downwards, tying them to support wires directs them up towards the sun. Each vine is hand-tied.
The most exciting part comes when the grape bunches are picked and you hold the fruit of your labour in your hands. Your contribution to the success of the harvest is tangible, not just symbolic.
The vinification and ageing processes are the next step in the Adopt a Row of Vines project. Witness the effort and dedication that goes into every single bottle of wine. Finally, the long-awaited moment arrives: the Barolo you have helped to make – a Barolo infused with wholly new flavours of excitement and anticipation – is tasted.
This past October 6, we celebrated the festa for the adopters in the Josetta Saffirio vineyards in Monforte d’Alba. It’s a not-to-be-missed date when the project’s wine lovers unite to savour the aromas of earth and vineyard amid their own rows of vines.
It’s an amazing adventure for those who share a passion for this wine, this symbol of the Langhe, and who also share respect and concern for the Langa terroir.
Adopting a row of vines in the Barolo DOCG appellation also means taking care of the landscape that is the Langhe – a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2014. Recognition of the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato Vineyard Landscapes has made the Langhe an emblem of the terroir and its traditions, to be safeguarded and handed down to future generations.
It is exciting to be a part of this, to support with an individual gesture the people who dedicate their lives to traditional winegrowing and become part of the rich culture and history of this community.