Our experimental work, after years of studies and small tests, begins in April 2015, with the first Solaris plants in the municipalities of Forni di Sotto and Forni di Sopra. At the beginning we had chosen two experimental fields with very different altitudes, to test the growth limits of this variety.
In Forni di Sotto we had chosen an experimental field at 865 m. above sea level in Forni di Sopra we had chosen an experimental field at 1,100 m. of altitude. This is because the Solaris also adapted to much higher altitudes than ours and we wanted to see how it reacted in these areas as well.
WHAT IS THE SOLARIS VARIETY
Solaris is a white grape variety, which was obtained in 1975 from Norbert Beker, crossing (Merzling X Zarya Sevara X Muscat Ottonel) and is recognized as a variety resistant to the main fungal diseases.
The shoot is open, bronzed yellow in color and with a high presence of hair creeping.
Early vine both in budding and flowering.
The adult leaf is medium, three-lobed, slightly bullous, with petiole sinus and slightly overlapping lobes.
The bunch is of medium size and compactness.
The grape is medium-small, elliptical, short and green and yellow in color, intense if exposed to the sun.
Germination period: medium
Ripening date: very early, 10 days before the Chardonnay
Vegetable productive characteristics: very high with growth of the shoots in all directions.
Medium bunch and rightly scattered.
Medium-small, rounded grapes.
Average production, from 90 to 120 quintals per hectare
Cold resistance: very good (withstands temperatures down to -24.0 ° C)
Downy mildew resistance on leaf: very good
Downy mildew resistance on bunches: good
Powdery mildew resistance on leaf: very good
Powdery mildew resistance on bunches: good
Botrytis resistance: good
Characteristics of the wine: yellow – green colored wines are obtained, which have fruity aromas with notes of banana and hazelnuts. The wines produced are pleasant and extremely fresh.
Use and notes: it needs high sixths, given its remarkable vigor and rich pruning. Cultivation above 600 m is recommended. above sea level or in areas with little sunshine, given its earliness and the acidity of the musts.
Planted in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland. In Italy in Lombardy, Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto.
Together with the experimentation of Solaris, we also wanted to test some other resistant vines from 2017, to understand their potential at these altitudes; in 2017 the following varieties were planted in the experimental fields of Drogne (865 m.) and Prads (940 m.): Sauvignon Kretos, Soreli, Julius, Merlot Kanthus, and Nermantis.
In 2018, again for the purpose of comparison, some cuttings of Cabernet Cortis were planted.
The Julius, Sauvignon Kretos, Soreli and Merlot Kanthus varieties are produced and marketed by Vivai Coperativi Rauscedo and have already been registered for cultivation in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The purpose of their plant was mainly to compare phenological and oenological data with Solaris.
Nermantis was registered in Rome in 2020, at the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. The purpose of planting this variety is to test this new promising red grape variety, also suitable for mountain climates similar to ours
Cabernet Cortis is registered with the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, but not registered in Friuli Venezia Giulia; it was planted for testing purposes for the analysis of the oenological potential, being a red wine with characteristics suitable for cultivation at high altitudes.
The choice of all these vines was not casual, but decided after reading and studying numerous technical notebooks and various scientific publications.
For the comparison with Solaris three white wines were chosen (Sauvignon Kretos, Soreli), all resistant to the main diseases. They have been selected for their excellent resistance to cold, late bud break, early ripening and also, given our very rainy environment, for their excellent resistance to the main diseases (downy mildew, botrytis, powdery mildew and Black Rot).
For the test on the possibility of obtaining a red grape variety we have mainly chosen four varieties: Julius, Merlot Kanthus, Cabernet Cortis and Nermantis.
We have opted for the exclusion of non-resistant varieties (eg Priè Blanc, Pinot Nero, Muller-Thurgau), for the simple fact that the extremely low temperatures that in certain years are reached in winter in our areas (during our experimentation we have reached almost -16.0 ° C of minimum temperature) and the abundant rains that fall annually in our valleys, would have made it impossible to cultivate and very probably also to ripen the grapes themselves.
Another reason for the choice of the varieties was that of wanting to use vines that involve an extremely fewer (if not zero) number of phytosanitary treatments. This is to try to create a healthier viticulture linked to a territory, like ours, immersed in the Friulian Dolomites. Being able to give life, in these mountain contexts, to a hyper organic viticulture, perhaps certified, would make our areas even more valued; moreover, this new frontier would certainly lead to new economies of areas throughout the Friulian mountain range (the only one in Italy, among other things, not to have a high-altitude viticulture), currently in a strong employment crisis and subject to rapid depopulation , resulting in the creation of new production realities linked to the wine and food and wine tourism chain.
Below we publish the cards of the various vines: