Having formed, through fencing, the walls of foliage that the vines need for the accumulation of light, essential for photosynthesis – one square meter per kilo of grapes – around the beginning of July the shoots are bent over the highest wire, slowing the sap like during the binding, and containing the growth.
The bent branches are fixed with a spool of twine or with wicker, always avoiding stacking up stems and leaves that could rot or turn yellow. This process is also called "arcaplè,” or “making the cap” in dialect, because as the sap slows it reaches the secondary shoots, creating a kind of cap for the vineyard, that the older generation hoped would protect the grapes from light hailstorms.
NICOLETTA BOCCA AZIENDA SAN FEREOLO
In the past fifteen years, the practice of creasing has become quite burdensome, and on many estates has been substituted by mechanical shearing. This allows you to cut the tips of the branches and of the secondary shoots with a rotating blade, done at a precise moment and without creating wounds that would alter the vegetative-productive balance of the vineyard.There is an onging debate between those who believe that the trimming of the tips is a practice that does not allow for the full development of the vine vegetation, with constant new leaves that are active in photosynthesis, and those who consider the trimming to be a rational practice that strengthens the plant.
DARIO SCIOLLA AZIENDA BRICCO DEL CUCù
In old vineyards that are very narrow and steep, where it isn’t possible to work with machines, or in which the wooden stakes are of different heights which prevents shearing machine from passing, the containment of the tip of the shoot can be done with scissors that allow for a clean, precise cut. Cutting the tip means facilitating the rebound of the secondary shoots, which grow and strengthen, making a second round of cutting almost always necessary.
ROBERTO VALLETTI AZIENDA VALLETTI
Later on comes the time to cut the folded tips or the secondary shoots, which, if the season was hot and humid, have continued to grow, and they have both lengthened, even managing to go so far as to shade the grapes. When the shearing machines with horizontal blades didn’t yet exist, the work was done by hand with a sickle; it must still be done this way today if you don’t arrive in time and the weight makes the secondary shoots fold on the wire, making it impossible to use the machines.