Fruit and wine farm “Le Camelie” – Pietro and Marta Cossu

by admin on 19/03/2010

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We arrived at the “le Camelie” farm after having passed a long, straight road stretching from Palmadula to Fertillia crossing a reclaimed marsh divided into numerous farms which were assigned to manual workers coming from various parts of Italy during the 1930s and to Sardinian peasants in the 1950s.

Entering the property of the Cossu family, we were driving along a wide road lined with trees and surrounded by meadows and colourful flowers like camelias, multi-coloured daisies together with a small rose garden. The house also seemed to be very well maintained with a large patio facing the garden and the fruit garden at the back of the house.

Pietro is cultivating peaches, apricots, almonds, lemons, but also ancient fruit trees like service trees with red berries and Mediterranean medlar (a kind of apple tree). Since we arrived in March, we were only able to see the flowers on the fruit trees and not the fruits. We were also shown bitter almond trees. Pietro told us that this tree is an optimum tree for having grafted plants like peach and other types of fruits onto its trunk and branches because it’s very resistant against diseases and cold spells leading to that it will transfer these characteristics to the plants which have been grafted onto the host plant. Grafting onto a bitter almond trees also makes the plants which have been grafted resistant against parasites and droughts.

In the 1950s, the father of Pietro received a property of 50 hectares from the Ente di Riforma Agraria Sarda (Sardinian Agency for Agrarian Reform) which he cultivated for many years planting a vineyard and olive trees. Pietro, after having worked as a forester for many years, decided to further the work of his father. He planted a new fruit garden which he treats with infinite care and he has become an expert on pruning and grafting. He has also planted a new vineyard.

Pietro is practicing three types of grafting: cleft grafting, veneer grafting and budding.

All the fruit trees are pruned in November and December when the trees are dormant in order to control growth, remove dead or diseased wood and stimulate the formation of flowers and fruit buds.

Pietro is cultivating the Vermentino and the Cagnulari vines which he has grafted onto an American vine. In this way, his vines become more resistant against diseases like phylloxera. He’s producing a full-bodied, black Cagnulari wine and a Vermentino white wine. He’s also cultivating a diverse selection of vines destined for table wines like Black magic, Michele Paglieri, Cardinal and Regina Rosa.

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