Vineyard agronomic management principles
Use of chemicals and fertilisation in accordance with applicable regional directives
Since 2001, the entire expanse of the Pighin estate has been part of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia rural development plan, specifically measure F1 - DISTRIBUTION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS WITH LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, which requires the implementation of agronomic practices aimed at decreasing the use of chemicals as much as possible and improved land management. The use of plant protection products which are most harmful to the ecosystem is phased out in a targeted manner, and the use of all other products complies with regional directives. Fertilisation is done in observance of rules and controls in order to avoid pollution.
Targeted interventions to eliminate parasites
The regulation of the use of chemicals and fertilisation perfectly complies with so-called integrated pest management criteria, which involve the use of chemicals and biological systems to eliminate parasites. This is based on a continuous monitoring system which makes it possible to target parasite elimination activities by identifying when the best result will be achieved and using specific products that affect only parasites and do not harm useful insects. For this purpose, pheromone traps have been installed on the estates, making it possible to identify the harmful insect’s stage of development and its level of infestation. To effectively control fungal diseases, meteorological data reporting systems have been installed and connected to the computer network, making it possible to understand the ideal conditions for the development of pathogenic fungi, estimate their life cycle and as a result identify the best moment to achieve the best results with the lowest dosage of chemicals. In 2002, the company began controlling harmful insects with the mating disruption method, and in some cases managed to completely eliminate the use of insecticides. Initially introduced only in the orchards, this method has been used in all Collio vineyards since 2007.
Reduced fertilisation and grassing interventions
From the point of view of plant protection, significant attention is paid to foliage management and reduced fertilisation, controlling the nutritional status of the vineyards through analyses of the soil, the canopy and all elements present in the must that are correlated with the plant’s nutritional status. This reduces soil fertilisation to a minimum while also making it possible to conduct targeted canopy interventions based on analytic data. This region’s adequate rainfall and the vineyard texture sustain the grass, ensuring that the soil retains suitable moisture content. Aside from avoiding energy-consuming work with a strong environmental impact, regularly cut grass continuously contributes organic material to the soil, improving its fertility, maintaining a high level of microbial vitality and limiting the need to use mineral fertiliser supplements.
Technology which generates savings and respects the environment
The technology of the Pighin estate is continuously evolving in order to better manage financial resources and respect the environment. The use of highly efficient multi-purpose machines, with next generation engines, makes their movement through the vineyard increasingly rapid and less frequent, with a notable reduction of atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide. An important goal was reached with the purchase of a low-drift treatment unit, a machine which significantly decreases drift when plant protection products are applied. With traditional sprayers, an average of only 50% of the products applied to plants reaches the leaves and grape clusters, while the other half ends up in the soil, with evident environmental consequences. However, with this new technology it is possible to reduce the use of plant protection products by 40%, almost completely eliminating waste and pollution.