Subsurface drip irrigation on vineyard in Zisola, Noto Area -Siracuse

Design and implementation of a subsurface irrigation system of wine grape trees with pressure-compensating. self-cleaning, anti-siphon and anti-drain dripperline.

The wine firm Zisola, of the Mezzei group, is located in one of the most wine growing devoted area of Sicily, known as Val di Noto. The firm produces and commercilizes several wine labels, especially varieties as nero d'avola, cabernet, syrah and petit verdot. It has a modern production plant, with stock cellars and bottling line.

The estate is extended on 50 hectares of hills on the south-eastern Sicily, on 130 meters above sea level, with western south/western exposure, slopes between 8% and 10%, with medium texture soils, strongly calcareous and with a rich backbone. Vineyard cultivation is wine grape trees, with planting density of 5.000 vines per hectare.

Vineyard irrigation approach aims to ensure stable and steady vintage quality, increased yields and smart mangement of water stress, due to hot weather or drought.

The Hydro Tech ltd thanks to years of expertize and support of several Sicilian farmers, was the best choise of the Zisola firm for its continuous modernization and development:

  • for the feasability study and cost evaluation of the investment;
  • for the choice of the most cost-effective and functional solution;
  • for the implemenattion of the subsurface irrigation system.

The first step was a land survey with topographic reliefs of the holding, evaluation of their available water source followed by a meeting with the customer in order to focus on their needs and requests.

During the design stage, data were integrated with further satellite surveys, agronomical knowledge for viticulture, so that the Hydro Tech ltd staff could implement a comprehensive solution with flow rate calculation, by the means of a special design software. We decided to offer a subsurface irrigation system, deviding the area in 18 zones, for the most efficient irrigation scheduling:

  1. Subsurface irrigation takes the highest advantage from available water;
  2. Plowing and vintage are always easy thanks to a complete absence of encumbrances and pipes in the vineyard;
  3. Also subsurface irrigation optimizes water usage since: it reduces evaporation, percolation and summer weed growth. 

After we avaluated all collected data, we devided the irrigation system in 18 independent sectors, to ensure precise and uniform irrigation. Each irrigation sector is equipped with an electric valve, a safety screen valve placed in inspection wells. The integral dripperline is buried 30 cm under the soil, laid parallel to the trunk and close to the root zone.

Irrigation scheduling is managed by an automatic electric controller 24 V, regulating water delivery, giving advanced monitoring oprions and flexible programming.