Winter Update

As this winter comes to and end we are feeling optimistic and motivated, and are hopeful that we will be able to see many of you again here at Corzano e Paterno soon.

Works in the vineyards are in full swing. Winter pruning is essential as it sets the stage for a successful future harvest.

Since we have had very high rainfall since November, our groundwater reserves are now well replenished. This is a very important factor for the growth of our vineyards and olive trees.

Our sheep are also doing well as they now have fearless protectors and no longer have to fear the wolves.

As a family we have had Maremmano-Abruzzese dogs on the farm to guard our homes since the 1970s. Wendel Gelpke bought his first Maremmano-Abruzzese dog, Sasha, in Maremma from a shepherd. Sasha moved to our hills from Florence with Wendel and Tillo; for the last fifty years these majestic dogs have lived with our families at Corzano e Paterno protecting our homes.

Since 2018 we also have a fantastic anti-wolf team of them at the sheep stables. With the resurgence of the wolf our dogs have a second task and the squad at the stables has grown to six animals that watch over our flocks of sheep. They are very large white guard dogs, friendly but reserved, and with great defence capabilities. They thrive in the outdoors.

The Maremmano-Abruzzese is a very particular herd guard dog: confident, capable of independent decisions, territorially oriented and extremely headstrong, a primal dog. However he is also very docile and intelligent, and friendly but discreet towards his owners.

Our stable dogs were born and grew up with the sheep as puppies, so they see themselves as belonging to the flock. It is this and not any formal training that results in them protecting the sheep relentlessly.

We have not had a single wolf attack since the beginning of 2020; previously we lost up to fifty sheep a year.