A family in the vineyards
La Vota vineyard enjoys a special microclimate along the border of the Belice River Natural Reservation
We are performing green harvest on Cabernet Sauvignon at La Vota vineyard today.
La Vota is a “loop” in the course of the Belìce River, which was originally covered with swamps and where my grandfather and uncles used to go for hunting wild ducks and eels.
In the late ‘50s, after getting his degree in hydraulic engineering, my father developed an ambitious project to reclaim that area, building a complex drainage system that would dry up a total of five hectares’ of virgin land where he started to experiment with modern agricultural techniques: he thus planted artichokes, fruits and, most of all, he planted vines.
The sole variety that could survive the particular conditions of La Vota is Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here the microclimate is very humid, with the sea breeze blowing all day long; the soil is fertile, light and sandy, with a good fraction of clay and silt.
The River is just behind: during the freshest rainy years the flood invades the Valley, and fresh waters submerge the vineyards for a few days. Not that the vines get hurt, because they are dormant in December and January; the flood comes and goes, leaving sediments that would enrich the terrain with a strong mineral component.
The grapes get slowly ripe under the warm Sicilian sun, thanks to the huge temperature gap between night and day.
Mother Nature lives at La Vota: groves of reeds flourish along the dikes, a home for wild bees, little amphibians and migrant birds. Woodcocks, thrushes and herons nest here: sometimes, someone even thinks the vineyards are the right place to start a family…