The Langhe area has breathtaking landscapes in every season: in spring, the first buds and flowering ground cover create a spectacle of pale-coloured petals; in summer, the exuberant growth of leaves searching out the warmth of the sun creates a sea of green waves; autumnal foliage is without doubt more picturesque and richly-coloured than the palette of any painter.
In winter, the vines are clothed in fluffy white after a heavy snowfall.
Every sound is muted and delicate flakes of snow softly cloak everything in sight, creating a fairytale landscape.
Snow is not just beautiful to look at.
It has an important role in the lifecycle of the vines, but why is it so important?
Snow is essential to maintaining reserves of water.
As it slowly melts, it penetrates the ground and allows for the formation of reserves within the water table, which are essential during the dry season.
An old peasant saying has it that “beneath the snow, bread, under the rain, hunger”, underlining the importance of snow during the winter.
In contrast to what one might think, snow also acts as insulation, protecting the ground from frost. It keeps the ground damp and soft, so that during the spring rains (if they are not too violent) the earth is able to absorb the water and prevent flooding in the valleys and erosion in the vineyards.
Una curiosità riguarda l’esposizione delle vigne.
Within a day or two of a snowfall, where the snow melts first is visible to the naked eye. This reveals the vineyards with the best orientation precisely because they are warmer and more easily reached by the sun’s rays.
This is prompts stronger growth of the vine and better ripening of the grape clusters.