2019 Harvest Report: Central & Southern Italy
A cool and rainy spring slowed the growth cycle down. But the hot weather that followed didn’t cause any problems with water stress thanks to the abundant water reserves. There were a few storms during the hot months of July and August that further “quenched the thirst” of the plants and helped them continue the cycle normally. In terms of the phenological development of the plants, the different phases were “on time” across the region. The quality of the white and red grapes is excellent as they greatly benefitted from diurnal temperature changes. Aside from quality though, quantities will be down 25% from last year. This is due to lighter grapes overall.
Almost all the seasonal average of rain took place in May this vintage and June and July were scorching hot, with still a lot of rain. May’s low temps and rainfall slowed the cycle here as well, even 10 days later. In late August, there were some storms, lowering temperatures. The quality of the grapes seems to be excellent thanks to the water reserves accumulated in May. Quantities will be down 15%.
The weather starting last fall was very rainy and cool, leading to good water reserves. Spring started out cool and continued through May, which saw frequent storms, slowing the cycle here too. The timing of the different phases was in line with the average, so slower than what we’ve seen over the last vintages. Quantity will be down but the quality will be excellent, especially in the reds.
ROMANO D’AMARIO of IL FEUDUCCIO
The 2019 Harvest has just ended and we are just about to finish the first racking. We are also in the middle of our olive harvest. We had a particularly favorable season – the aromatic profile of the white grapes matured perfectly, and potential alcohol won’t be too high. The musts appeared more varietal than last year, and the wines more complex on the nose, fresh but not piercing on the palate. Harvest for the red varieties took place during a persistent drought, a tiny bit late, and the musts have medium-high sugar content, with a powerful and ripe polyphenolic profile. At the same time, sufficient acidity, more tartaric than malic. The wines already appear balanced, with excellent color intensity. They are not extremely alcoholic and very elegant.
Puglia saw very rainy weather in spring, which caused irregular budding. Flowering was also late and fruit set was imperfect. Finally, nice weather arrived in late June, which benefitted the growth cycle. There were plenty of storms in June and July and veraison began late. This meant early-ripening grapes were harvested late. The white grapes showed good sugar and acidity while the red grapes should have good, structured tannins. Overall quantity will be down 15%.
Basilicata saw the same difficult weather patterns, which led to a late start for the growth cycle. But this brought the season back to its “regular” historic timetable. The grapes are perfectly healthy all over the region. The long spring and early summer rains replenished water reserves and the vines were never stressed. There were excellent day/night temperature swings all through July which allowed for the perfect ripening. The grapes are in a word, beautiful. Quantities are down about 10%
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