Harvest is on going throughout Italy. I asked a few producers to give me their thoughts on the 2011 growing season and harvest. Here are their comments.
Piero Mastroberardino – Director – Mastroberardino, Atripalda, Campania
Winter was long and cold with less rain than normal. The vegetative resumption was delayed due to the cold winter. In the first stages of blooming, we had a lot of rain that enriched the acquiferous layers of the earth. In May, June and the first part of July, we had a good climatic state, with rains of little intensity that were spread out, bringing back the vegetative state to normal again.
The third week of July with the coolest temperatures and a little rain, predisposed the vines to the water stress of August. In August, especially in the second and third week, we enjoyed very good thermal inversion between the days and nights. The rains of the final days contributed notably to a lowering of overall temperatures.
The actual climatic conditions along with the important thermal inversions and the good vegetative/productive conditions of the vines, have led us to a harvest of excellent quality.
Antonio Capaldo – Owner/Director – Feudi di San Gregorio, Sorbo Serpico, Campania
The harvest is overall very good in quality but with a strong reduction in quantity (30-40%) which is bringing a lot of pressure on us all.
Falanghina started a few days ago and is very beautiful.
Fiano and Greco appear on a similar condition but it is still too soon to say as it is starting raining after an incredible heat. For Aglianico it is definitely too soon but overall indication on lower quantity/higher quality appear to work here as well.
We are about 10 days in advance compared to average.
Alessandro Locatelli – owner/winemaker – Rocche Costamagna, La Morra, Piedmont
Another great harvest in Piedmont !
This was a very particular season that started 2 weeks early; the harvest also arrived 2 weeks before normal.
Great quality, perfect ripening, but very low production: 20% less.
We are happy and next week we will start the Nebbiolo harvest.
Andrea Felluga – winemaker – Livio Felluga, Brazzano di Cormons, Friuli
The harvest is going well. We have had sufficient flowering and a very balanced season… extremely hot at the end of August that came together well for a well-timed picking of the grapes. In the hottest days, we picked only in the morning, so as not to scorch the grapes. The whites and Merlot are now finished. We have also to pick the Cabernet, Refosco, Pignolo and Picolit, obviously. We are in a most delicate enological phase for the white wines: at the end of alcoholic fermentation, management of the lees and malolactic, but I am very optimistic for the quality of the wines.
Maddalena Paqua di Bisceglie – proprietor – Musella, San Martino, Veneto
I’m particularly happy this year to give you some notes about the Harvest 2011. A great vintage!
First of all, I have to say I was lucky to be helped and encouraged by the weather in our first year of Biodynamic and this is important…my enthusiasm for what could be considered a dream of a life is now even more intense after the first and incredibly evident results!
The weather in 2011 was not regular, considering a very advanced hot Spring and the cool July and beginning of August. These inverted conditions created a particular course of maturation. We had an advanced development of blooms, leaves and grapes, we arrived in June with at least a couple or even three of weeks of advance. In that period the weather changed and we suffered three long weeks of intense rains.
Around the third week of August it was extraordinarly hot week (40 C°!!) that gave a kick to the maturations and in only a few days we had the unusual condition to have almost all varieties ready to be picked!
Honestly we saved the quality with some water in form of irrigation we could gave during this week. It was more than a month we had not any rain and the vines started to take the water from the grapes and to stop the maturation! So, giving small quantity of water we interrupted this process.
Around the end of August in a weekend we had an amazing quantity of rain (60 mm), the entire Valpolicella area had an important relief and the grapes started to mature again everywhere here.
We never harvested Corvina before the first week of September and this year we did it in August…amazing and new for us, but that’s a part of the beauty of my job: it is never the same and could be very surprising, teaching us something new every year.
The first vinifications were perfect and even if we were worried for the first Biodynamic experience, we are very happy with it and even quite surprised how we already can taste more crunchy fruit in it.
The colors are very rich, the acidity not particularly high, but we will manage it with the malolactics. The general conditions gave us not a big quantity, but for sure a very important quality!