Crop Management (Cultivation conditions and methods)
Grapes grow best in in deep and fertile soil. However, grapes can grow in a range of soils from heavy clay to sand with a high proportion of stones. Grape can also tolerate limestone soils with high proportion of calcium. Grapes can tolerate moderate salinity, both in the soil and in irrigation.
Temperature is one of the most important climatic factors influence the success of grape cultivation. Cool temperatures are necessary in order to to break winter dormancy but temperatures below zero can damage grapes especially if prolonged. Most varieties need warm temperatures for growth and fruit setting.
Grapes are mostly irrigated and several techniques are used. The precise quantity and timing of irrigation depends on both climate and soil characteristics, also the variety and age of the vines.
Precise fertilization is very important. For example, excess nitrogen can lead to heavy foliage growth and delayed maturation of fruits, whilst the increasing the susceptibility of the vines to fungal diseases and exposure to winter damage. On the other hand, lack of nitrogen leads to weak vegetative growth and smaller clusters (poor yield).
Grapes mature from mid- July (in the South) until late September (in the North). Coloured varieties are harvested when the colour develops, white varieties are harvested according to client needs, on the basis of sugar content and can be defined using a “refrectometer” device.