Tasca d'Almerita
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Alessandro Accardi - Agronomo Tasca nella Tenuta di Capofaro


From August to November, from the sea to the volcano: 90 days around our 5 estates. But what happens in the previous weeks?

It’s quite common in the wine world to bring most of the attention to the moment of the grape harvest — and while we can’t deny its crucial role, this year we’ll focus on another equally important time: the weeks that come just before it.

It’s 5am, the first signs of dawn are peeking behind the hills, the air is still fresh. The team is ready, they need to make the most out of the morning hours before it gets too hot to work under the scorching sun. We are currently in the period that anticipates the grape harvest: a crucial time, filled with excitement both in the vineyards and in the winery.

At the moment we are working to preserve the plants’ health: making sure that the grapes receive enough sunlight and air flow, and monitoring the humidity levels.

The two main interventions carried out in the vineyards at the moment are: training the espalier vines against a support, and pinching out the sideshoots; the first one  allows the plant to develop healthily, while the second one helps concentrate the energies at the core of the vine. Preparing for the harvest is a bit like grooming the vineyard, says Corrado Maurigi, Estate Manager at Regaleali, in the heart of Sicily.

Here, we’re also working in between the rows of vines to preserve humidity at the root level (reaching 15cm deep) and to prevent cracks in the clay-rich soil.

In the meantime, on the island of Mozia we are getting ready for a unique harvest; remarkable under many aspects, says Costanza Chirivino, Estate Manager of Whitaker on Mozia and of Sallier de La Tour in Camporeale.

Harvesting grapes here is hard both physically and logistically, but at the same time it’s fascinating to be working in between historical vineyards and a Phoenician archaeological site. It’s on this special islet that in a few weeks our harvesting journey across Sicily will begin.

The excitement for the harvest isn’t just felt in the vineyards but also in the winery. Both at La Monaca, the historical winery in Sallier de La Tour, and at Regaleali everything needs to be ready in time to receive the grapes.

This year’s mild and dry winter was followed by a cold and rainy spring, allowing the vineyards to stock up the water reserve and get ready for the extreme heat of this summer. In these days of very high temperatures the plants are showing an incredible ability to adapt to extreme conditions: the vines are, once again, giving us proof of their powerful self-regulatory system. 

On the other hand, the constant rain and the low temperatures of May and June, are having some other consequences, making this period challenging, especially for Capofaro and Tascante. Here we’ll have to dedicate more attention and care to the plants in these next few weeks. However, the harvest on the slopes of Etna is still far away, says Giulio Bruni, Tascante Estate Manager; we’ll have to wait for the end of October and in the meantime work hard to protect the vines and their fruits.

Contadino durante la vendemmia alla Tenuta Whitaker sull'isola di Mozia