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Four weather stations to monitor the San Gimignano vineyards: a tool for integrated defence made compulsory by the Italian National Action Plan

The Consorzio della Denominazione San Gimignano has recently installed two new weather stations to set up an agrometeorological monitoring network for the vineyards. They will complement the two existing stations to provide wine producers with valuable information on the pedoclimatic conditions of the different areas and rationalise the relative phytosanitary interventions.
The weather stations have been placed in four strategic locations so as to have an almost complete monitoring of the areas planted with vines: Racciano, Santa Margherita, Pancole, and the vineyards along the road leading to Ulignano.
The stations have a dual purpose: to study the microclimate of the San Gimignano area (humidity, temperature, rainfall and ventilation), which experience teaches to be uneven despite the relatively small territorial extension, and monitor the situation in the spring and summer through the assessment of leaf wetness so as to ensure timely phytosanitary treatment.
The data transmitted by the weather stations, processed using forecasting models, will be made available to all members via the Consortium website.
Letizia Cesani, Chairwoman of the Consortium, states, “The weather stations project is part of the Consortium activities aimed at providing support to the wine-making estates, offering members useful and complimentary tools to best carry out their work. The approval of the Italian Ministerial Decree of 22.01.2014 introduced the National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Phytosanitary Products, which, I quote, 'aims to guide, ensure and monitor a process of change in the use of plant protection products towards practices characterized by greater environmental and health compatibility and sustainability, with special reference to agronomic practices for the prevention and/or suppression of harmful organisms both in agricultural and off-farm areas'. This approach has made it mandatory for our producers to implement an integrated defence mechanism that will materialize also through the possibility to access detailed meteorological data pertaining to the area of interest, in addition to phenological and phytosanitary data provided by a monitoring network.
The weather stations installed by the Consortium provide all this information and thus comply with the provisions of the law, offering its members a tool that allows them to perform targeted sanitary treatments to prevent the issues that may occur in the vineyard. The perspective is that of technology at the service of tradition, to develop new and increasingly sustainable agronomic practices.
We are also collaborating with the San Gimignano Town Council to make the information accessible to the entire San Gimignano community, perhaps through a link on the website of the Municipality.”