Fall is coming to Montalcino. Over the past few days we have continued to have sunny weather, though temperatures are starting to drop, as always happens this time of year, with lows around 40°F and highs around 60°F.
This time of year, many wineries begin to fertilize their vineyards. We have always been very concerned with fertilizing our vineyards; we do not use any synthetic fertilizers, even nitrogen-based ones, but we do use pelleted manure to infuse the soil with organic substances. We also sow some leguminous plants, and specifically field beans, favino in Italian.
As favino roots burrow into the soil and develop, they create sacs to store the nitrogen coming from the air. This way, the nitrogen comes directly from nature without the need for added fertilizer. To make high quality wines we do not need large quantities of grapes, which more intense fertilizer could create; on the contrary, we need only a small amount. This is why we do not want to use nitrogen-based fertilizers which, if applied in excess, could also pollute the aquifer.