Tuscany: the hills of Chianti

The farmers in this period of the year control the damage done by cold and rainy winter, one of the first of the vineyard maintenance work is the inspection and replacement of the poles that hold up the vines and rows. If you look at the landscape of Chianti Classico in Italy, during our Tuscan wine tours, you will see that in each row there are two big poles at the ends and a smaller one every three or four vines: they will always taut wires on which the branches will be supported. The choice of these poles are important: according to tradition, they are chestnut poles. Why the chestnut wood? Let it tell by winemakers of the best italian wines! First of all because in Italy the chestnut trees are many, chestnut often require maintenance and so the stakes for the vines are truly environmentally friendly because they do not stem from the destruction of the forests but are the result of their care; another of the chestnut feature is that it contains in its essence a large amount of tannins, preservatives substances that allow it to best protect from moisture, so they do not need to be treated to last 10-20 years.

And now, imagine all Italy wine map: another important reason in choosing the chestnut poles is that wood is a poor conductor of heat and prevents the heat and the cold air from propagating within the soil to the roots, which must absorb the best nourishment, then create the grape juice.
There is another place in Italy, where we use the natural look of wood to draw the landscape: the Venetian lagoon, in which special oak poles, which are called in dialect “bricole”, are planted on the seabed to indicate waterways for the gondolas and other boats. The average duration of bricole is about 20 years, as the vine chestnut poles, because the sea consumes wood and above all there are small mollusks that stick to their surface and eat it, forming very original and unique designs round of their kind. Both the wooden poles of the vines and the bricole are used by major Italian furniture designers to make very peculiar furniture, so it might happen to be in a kitchen or in a living room with pieces of wood that bring with them long and special adventures!