Wine makers know that wine is made in the vineyard, meaning that any wine is only as good as the fruit from which it is made. Good farming practices and vineyard management are fundamental to making great wine. We must also leave this land full of life for those who come after us. Work in the vineyard thus must have as its primary objectives the production of the best fruit and the sustainability of the land. Decades of modern agricultural practice have taught us that the use of organic methods and the maintenance of biodiversity are key to achieving these goals.
At Le Cascinette we employ only organic composts and fertilizers in our vineyards. We do not use chemical pesticides of any sort. Naturally occurring grasses, wild salad greens, and flowers are encouraged to flourish between our vineyard rows, as are beneficial insects. Grass cutting is kept to a minimum to protect the soil and keep soil temperatures cool. We will gradually introduce farm animals, such as chickens and small sheep, to control grasses and provide natural manure. We will also introduce biodynamic practices, which is a step beyond organic and looks to the rhythms of the natural world. Much of our work is done by hand to ensure precision and limit the use of mechanized vehicles which damage the environment in the vineyard .
We carefully manage yields and harvests. Vines are carefully pruned during the winter
to control fruit production. Grape bunches are thinned as the season progresses, allowing the vines to concentrate their resources on only the best bunches. Late in the season diseased or damaged grapes are cut away. Different grape varieties in different vineyards are harvested at the time that each variety is at optimal ripeness for each of our wines. All harvesting is done by hand. Grape bunches are examined as they are cut in the vineyard and any diseased or damaged fruit is cut off before the bunch goes into the harvest basket.
Le Cascinette has three vineyards in the town of Masserano:
Il Cascinetto has as its center sixty year-old vines of Nebbiolo, Vespolina, Croatina, Bonarda and Barbera grapes. This vineyard includes an orchard with apples, peaches, pears, cherries and figs, and an organic vegetable and flower garden. Il Cascinetto is surrounded by other vineyards and has a view of the neighboring town of Brusnengo. It is a great place for a picnic al fresco.
Il Chiose d’Olive is planted in all Nebbiolo vines, all thirty plus years old. Il Chiose d'Olive means "Place of the Olives" and is thought to have been the location of an ancient olive grove. This vineyard has a lovely view of our neighborhood of Mombello.
La Panizza is a larger, four hectar (almost ten acre) vineyard that was worked by Carlo Forzani's great granparents. It is scheduled to be restored in 2021 and 2022. It will be planted with Nebbiolo, Vespolina and Croatina vines.
Above: In our Il Cascinetto vineyard, apples in the orchard, edible mushrooms, and flowers in between the vineyard rows. Below: The Chiose d’Olive vineyard at harvest time 2020. Our assistant Maria Teresa looks over a bunch of grapes and cuts away any damaged fruit before putting the bunch in the harvest basket.