The Daino Vineyard with bush vines in a quincunx pattern

The Daino vineyard

Steeped in tradition, tended with a human touch, harvested by hand Photo gallery

For centuries farmers have worked the lands of Caltagirone with wisdom, passing down to the present day their skills in the cultivation of Nero d'Avola, Frappato and Alicante, so that these have become typical features of the local lands and culture.
The Daino estate cultivates its vineyard using traditional techniques, at the same time protecting the environment and nurturing the natural development of the plant and fruit. The various stages of cultivation are carried out manually: from the design and layout of the vineyard to the subsequent stages of cultivation each vine is personally tended with care and attention.
Vine pruning follows the phases of the moon and is done with secateurs made, as in times gone by, by local craftsmen. The surface roots are cut forcing the rooting system to grown down deeper. Emphasis is also placed on so-called "green pruning" to curb excessive growth during the summer and to contain the foliage.
Natural, organic fertilisers (sheep and horse manure) keep the soil well supplied with nutrients, in accordance organic farming standards. The soil around every plant is hoed manually and the ground is worked with the help of a mule. The phase of preparation for the harvest requires careful, constant monitoring of the state of maturation of the grape: in fact, from mid-August onwards the sugar content of the grapes is measured every week. Only once it has been ascertained that the optimal level of ripeness has been reached does the harvest begin. It is carried out strictly by hand in a single day taking care not to damage the fruit and not to exceed a given number of bunches per box, so that the crop is healthy, a necessary prerequisite for a quality wine.

Bush vine cultivation
in Sicily

From the vineyards of the Latin people to Daino’s:
old values unite with high quality modern, organic cultivation
Photo gallery
Bush vine cultivation ensures optimum exposure for each plant

Bush-training was the preferred method of planting for the ancient Latin people since the arrangement of the vines in regular rows ensured that the available land was exploited in the best way and gave each plant the right amount of soil and sun. In fact, the sunlight reached all the vines equally and with the same intensity, if we exclude the fact that one plant shades another. The vines were arranged according to a regular geometric design in the form of a rhomboid (quincunx), which kept them in perfect harmony with the land.
In keeping with these longstanding vine-growing traditions, the Daino estate decided to bush-train their vines in staggered rows, where the individual plants are part of a “system” which is constituted by the vineyard as a whole and by the relationships between the vines. In addition, each vine is supported by a chestnut wood stake to which the shoots are tied with twine made from pampas grass (Cortaderia Jubata), a typical Mediterranean maquis plant known in Sicily as “liama”.

Bush vines occupy the space in a three-dimensional way, which allows the wind and the sun to circulate around them. As the old vine growers say, the bee must be able to fly around the vine.
Salvo Foti - oenologist

Interdependence among the vines is dictated by the symmetry of the system in which the amount of space occupied by each individual vine is constant throughout the entire vineyard. With this cultivation technique, the vineyard behaves like a single organism: it responds to external environmental stimuli and the properties of the soil by developing self-regulatory mechanisms that control the various vegetative and productive stages of the individual vines (root activity, growth of the shoots, fruit production, final product).