The production of Vialone Nano is a lengthy process that starts in the spring. The land has to be prepared and perfectly levelled to facilitate an optimal flooding of the rice field.
Then, the land has to be ploughed and turned over cyclically to facilitate oxidation and modify the soil structure. During winter, the fields are levelled, ploughed and harrowed enabling them to recover and absorb nutrients along with the natural fertility of the soil. Periodically – every six years – the rice fields are allowed to rest by planting other crops to prevent the spreading of parasites or disease, which could be detrimental to the rice and would demand the use of strong pesticides.
Once the land has been prepared, it is time to sow the seeds, which will then germinate immersed in water.
While the seedling is growing, it will be subjected to alternate periods of wet/dry irrigation, according to crop growth stage and weather conditions. The dry periods are also useful for destroying algae and insects that could damage the crop. The various dry periods and the sandy soil with its slight filtering effect allow for the constant introduction of fresh resurgent water; this prevents stagnation and makes sure that the water is frequently changed, allowing the rice to absorb nutrients and grow in clearer water. The plant reaches its maximum height in the summer season, when it develops clusters of flowers on the top. At this point, the rice plant starts to ripen.
At the end of August, the spikes turn golden, while an optimal ripeness is reached towards the end of September, in ideal weather conditions.
Harvesting must be carried out in conformity with consortium regulations regarding PGI production.
Untimely threshing will produce imperfect grains, which may either be too green or split.
After threshing, the wholegrain rice is dried and stored in the warehouse for processing.
Then comes the milling phase, which is still carried out by San Bernardino according to the traditional method using wood pestles on stone, which removes the “husk” from the grain. Then they are selected and sieved to remove any damaged or imperfect grains. Once this process is over the Rice is ready for packaging and sale.
The norms regulating the production of Nano Vialone Veronese PGI rice contemplate a minimum tolerance of imperfections, no more than 3% of the total end product: each grain must be perfect, healthy and ripe.