Viticoltura Biologica

The green kilometer: 1000 meters of hedges

Among the cultivated fields of the Italian agricultural landscape the presence of hedges, trees and thickets populated with animal life was frequent.

The need for agricultural mechanization and the widening of country roads to make way for increasing traffic have effectively eliminated over 70% of rural hedges from the Italian landscape. Yet the ecological function of hedges is so important that sustainable agriculture is virtually impossible without their presence. Like a membrane around a cell, hedges have the function of physical isolation between different environments, of filters, of communication for the exchange of flora and fauna. They are also breeding grounds for predators of crop parasites such as insectivorous birds, mammals, hedgehogs, amphibians and reptiles. Mixed privet, elderberry and hawthorn hedges are particularly appreciated by bees also for their characteristic of providing nourishment when other flowers to forage are scarce.

We began our landscape restoration work, about 20 years ago, starting from the centuries-old hawthorn and mulberry hedge that is right in front of the estate. Covered with ivy and brambles, it had lost its charm, its original character, its genius loci and, above all, was in danger of disappearing due to the planned widening of the provincial road. Today it is a precious hinge between the road and the vineyard, the frame of an elegant photograph of our landscape.

Since then we have never stopped: the recovery of the Adro hedge along the Santella del Gröm vineyard and then the planting of new hedges with 487 Hawthorn plants (Crataegus monogyna) planted together with Broom, Dogrose, Cornel, Privet, Berberry, Euonymous , Buckthorn , Blackthorn for a total of other 150 plants.

We have also paid attention to the trees in rows along the hedges or in the groves kept on the farm (about 4,000 m2), White Mulberry and Black Mulberry, British Oak, Cherry, Field Maple, White Hornbeam, Chestnut, Turkey Oak, Ash, Oak, Wild service-tree, Black elderberry, Wicker willow, Holm oak, Austrian pine. 178 trees were planted from 2012 to 2021.

It is a work that does not end, every year we are engaged in pruning trees and hedges -elegance has its price- but especially where new vineyards are born, new plantations are planned.

In 2021 we reached 1000 meters of hedges but we feel well trained for new challenges!