Roncolas

Definition - What does Roncolas mean?

A roncola or roncole (plural) is an Italian pruning hook or billhook which is an axe-like pruning tool that has a C-shaped cutting edge attached to a straight handle. The roncola is a large part of Italian history and culture as some villages are derived from the name and even some town seals have the roncola depicted within them. It has many different functions on vineyards, assisting harvesters in the cleaning, harvesting, and pruning of grape vines as well as the maintenance of the vineyards.

WineFrog explains Roncolas

Originating in Greece, this curved, single-edged billhook migrated to Italy and was used widely in the eastern part of the country near the mountains (south of the Alps) and in Sicily. The roncola was used for pruning grape vines (shaving branches and cleaning vines), clearing the ground cuttings, harvesting small grape clusters and in designing the support stakes that held the vines. They were also used for sharpening other tools and differs from a typical billhook, because it has only a one sided blade. Today, they are mostly sold as historical artifacts even though some Italian hardware companies still supply tools that resemble its ancestor the roncola.

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