Even when everything seems still, many things happen in the vineyard in preparation for the spring awakening. Here’s what’s happening at this time in the story of Paolo Bava.

“As we straddle the old and new year, the vineyard appears asleep, having shed all its leaves; the plant rests to prepare for budding again next spring.

This is the time for the most critical work of the year, dry pruning.

Experienced hands and sharp scissors work together to shape the plant’s growth and direct the grape production for the next harvest; each cut must be carefully evaluated as it allows no second thoughts.

Every cut can bring closer, distance, accelerate, slow down, increase or decrease; the vine’s growth until the harvest depends on each cut.

It’s like a duel between the vine-grower and the vine, where one adapts to the will of the other and vice versa, in silence broken only by the sound of the scissors, the now old shoots are detached and left on the ground to return organic matter.

The soil, too, needs rest after the past year’s efforts: it is worked and fertilized with good manure, leaving to the frost the final task of refining it to absorb water better and retain reserves for the coming beautiful season.”