Hazel and I have been working on a book about Italian life in the country and their traditions. We started because we wanted to record so many wonderful traditions before they disappear. One of these is how Italians tie up their vines.
You will often find willow tree stumps near vineyards in Italy. This is because the flexible shoots are used instead of wire and string to tie the young vine shoots to the supporting wire.
Our farmer Gianfranco and his brothers (all in their 80’s) collect the shoots, strip them down and then ties the new vine shoots up. The Italians are the only wine producing nation to use this tradition