The annual cycle of the vine is divided into two phases, the vegetative phase and the rest phase.
The vegetative cycle begins with the so-called ''weeping'', in spring, when the lymph starts circulating in the vine's conductive vessels, and this prepares for the bud burst in April. At the end of May-beginning of June, once the shoots have developed and there are bunches, flowering will take place. This determines the harvest period: in fact after about 100 days from flowering the grapes will be ripe. After flowering we have fruit set, that is the moment in which the fertilized flowers begin to swell and become berries, while those that have not been fertilized fall. From fruit setting onwards, the grape continues its development in size and reaches veraison between the end of July and the beginning of August. From this moment on, the plant reduces its vegetative activity and concentrates on its process of accumulation of sugars in the grapes, with a consequent drop in acidity and going to ripen towards the beginning of mid-September, when the harvest takes place. After the harvest, in November, the vine completes its vegetative phase and prepares for winter rest, after the leaves fall with the first frosts.
Throughout this phase, our work in the vineyards focuses on managing the canopy, making shoots selections, picking up the vegetation that develops, carrying out the green pruning operations, trimming and mowing the grass. These activities, carried out manually in all our hillside vineyards, are essential to keep the vines perfectly healthy and thus reduce the number of phytosanitary treatments to a minimum. One of our most important commitments, in fact, is to have a rational and healthy management of our vineyards, avoiding as much as possible the use of products that can cause any kind of pollution.
The resting phase of the vine is used by the plants to accumulate the reserve substances on the wood and prepare for the spring recovery. The vine concentrates the sugars in the wood in the form of starch; this will be a resource for recovery but also as a defense against the winter cold, allowing greater resistance to cold temperatures.
During this phase our work is mainly directed to pruning and to the management of the vineyards. This work is certainly one of the most important, as it allows us to give a productive direction to our plants. In fact, only with correct pruning, which leaves the right number of buds per plant and per hectare, we can make a balanced vineyard. Too many buds mean too much production, resulting in poor grape quality. Furthermore, there will be an excessive vegetative crowding, with consequent difficulty in managing the canopy and the health of the grapes. A too low bud content, on the contrary, will give bunches that are too sweet, which are not ideal for the production of bases for sparkling or fizzy wines that will still have to go through a second fermentation; in addition to this, the Glera is a very vigorous variety, and you will run the risk of having too thick shoots that will be difficult to manage in pruning.
Besides, in this period, careful maintenance work must be done on the vineyards, replacing damaged poles, tensioning the support wires and anchoring them in firm points. This work, especially in the hills, must be done manually and is essential to keep the supporting structure of the vineyards intact.
The most important and delicate period of the year in the winery is certainly harvest. In this moment, in fact, we play with the entire quality of the production. It is essential to vinify the grapes with accuracy, paying attention to the control of the musts and wines in fermentation.
The grapes arrive in the cellar in small trailers. From here it is placed in a pneumatic press which performs a very soft squeezing (max 1.4 bar) of the grapes, obtaining only the finest juice. The juice goes into a tank where it remains overnight for a cold settling. The following morning, the clear juice will ferment, while the cloudy part will ferment only after filtration with a rotary vacuum filter. The fermentation of the musts lasts about 10 days, until all the sugar has become alcohol and carbon dioxide. After this phase, rackings will be done to eliminate the gross lees and the wines are left to rest on the fine lees. After a few months we proceed with the filtration of the wines and the second fermentation begins to obtain the sparkling and fizzy wines.
The bubbles of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG are the result of a second fermentation of the base wine. The method mainly used is the Charmat or Martinotti method, ideal for enhancing the aromas and freshness of aromatic varieties such as Glera. This system involves the use of special pressure-tight stainless steel tanks called autoclaves. Here the base wine is added with selected yeasts and sugar in the case of sparkling wines (for fizzy wines, due to legislative obligations, concentrated grape must must be used). Here the fermentation begins with a temperature of 18-19 °C. When the new sparkling or semi-sparkling wine has reached the desired pressure, alcohol content and residual sugar, fermentation is stopped by cooling the wine (-3/-4 °C) and thus starting tartaric stabilisation. After the desired rest and ﬁltration, the wine is ready to be bottled.
There is a second prize de mousse, made in the bottle. In our tradition, the wine is bottled in spring with a slight residual sugar. This will start fermentation in the bottle making the wine fizzy. Once it gets dry, and the fermentable sugars are finished, the yeast settles on the bottom of the bottle leaving the wine dry, sparkling and with a deposit on the bottom. This is the reason why in our tradition these wines are called "Col Fondo". The wine is marketed undisgorged and undosed, with the crown cap with which it referments.