The glossary

Tenuta Mara is a small corner of the world in which the language of the earth and the stars is spoken. Here is a selection of essential key-words for a better understanding.

Biodynamics

(Greek: Bios Dinamikos) is an ecological agricultural method. It is a holistic approach that considers all organisms (minerals, plants, animals) as an integral part of the universe. Each component of the vineyard corresponds to one of the four elements: root-Earth, leaf-Water, flower-Air, fruit-Sun. Byodinamic agriculture is not only about excluding chemical fertilizers and pesticides, it works to improve the fertility and give new life to the ground, notwithstanding previous aggressive farming methods.

Pruning

This operation consists in cutting the top of the vine-shoots in order to slow down growth. This practice is far removed from biodynamic principles, therefore also from ours.

Cow horn silica

This is a spray preparation which concentrates and enhances the luminous strength of the silica. Sprayed above the vines before sunrise it regulates the ripening of the fruit. It’s prepared by crushing, grinding and sieving white crystals of quartz until they become a very fine powder that once moistened is inserted in a cow horn which in turn is buried in the soil for six summer months.

Horn manure

This is the main preparation of biodynamic agriculture. It stimulates and harmonizes the process of the formation of humus. The initial elements are made up of fresh manure – free from plant litter or external fibres – cow horn. Between September and October the manure is placed in the cow horns that are then buried in a suitable area. Around Easter time they are extracted from the earth. The manure is completely transformed in odorless, dark coloured, colloidal humus. This is used to nourish the land and make it even more fertile.

Punch down

When the wine ferments in the vats, the marc floats on top preventing the must from breathing in order to rebalance everything we delicately “break” the cap with a stick and mix it with the must below.

Shoots

In technical jargon these are new buds. Those that are non fruit bearing are removed manually one by one according to the course of the season in order to allow the air to keep the grape bunches dry.

Guyot

This is a method of vine cultivation to which the vine-shoot that will bear various fruit bearing buds is renewed through pruning, each year.

Protective mixture

The protective mixture protects the plants from possible fungal disease. It’s a kind of natural cocktail of sulphate, copper and calcium that is dissolved in water and sprayed on the plants. Once it has been applied, it will assume the aspect of intense turquoise foam.

Remontage (Pump-over)

Just like the “punch down” method this method is necessary for restoring air to the wine that is fermenting in the vats. With delicate and regular movements, the must from the bottom of the vat is pumped over the cap of the marc.

Suckering

This is an agronomic method practiced during spring time on the vines that have just begun to germinate .The double buds and those not necessary are eliminated manually one by one in order to maintain the vegetative, productive balance of the plant.

Sulphur

Better known as sulphur dioxide, a colourless gas used in conventional oenology and in the food industry for its antioxidant, preservative and antiseptic properties.

Green manure

Consists in sowing certain types of essences (leguminous, gramineae, etc).Once they have fully grown they are capable with their roots in making the soil richer and full of life for the vine.

Tannins

These are a group of substances contained in the seeds and skins of the grapes and are particularly important for the colour and the ageing of the wine.

Land

In Biodynamic agriculture, the land is considered as a living organism and its vitality is not achieved merely by physical work or the addition of substances but by interacting elements such as: air, water, sun and the corresponding energies. Basically the biodynamic agricultural method recreates HUMUS in the soil in which the root system of the plant lives.

Equisetum based herbal infusions

Also known as “vegetable clay” Equisetum is a plant rich in dietary minerals. Thanks to its composition and characteristics the land is capable of defending itself against fungal disease and harmful bacteria.

Grape marc and grape seed

Grape marc and grape seed