2019 Harvest Report: North Italy
Harvest in Italy is always one of the most exhilarating and exciting times of the year and fortunately, 2019 is providing much to be enthusiastic about. Overall, the quantity will be down from 2018’s record-breaking numbers, though still within the normal range – around 46 million hectoliters. Nevertheless, Italy should be the highest producer in the world again this year.
However, the weather did provide some hiccups – especially in May. Temperatures dropped significantly and they were accompanied by heavy rainfall all month long, which slowed the growth cycle everywhere in Italy. This led to an average of ten to a fifteen-day delay in ripening. Still, the timing was more in line with the traditional “schedule,” after several years of earlier-than-usual harvests. Generally, quality can be expected to be very good to excellent
TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE
The 2019 growing season was not as “happy” as it was the year before, with many storms to contend with and lower quantities coming in overall. Winter began with mild, dry temps and ended with snow and consistent rainfall. Budding began early but was uneven. May was cool, slowing the cycle – thus flowering – down. This delay was recovered in late June, which was hot and humid, even causing some sporadic cases of rot. The rest of the season was mostly hot and dry, with some storms that did not cause much damage. All in all, the quantity will be down about 15% and the quality will be good, perhaps not as good as 2018.
ALFREDO ALBERTINI of LAGARIA
Even if the wines are not yet ready, we can venture a few comments on the quality of the vintage: The wines are good, in line with the latest vintages. Thanks to a mostly dry September, we were able to plan harvest, waiting for the grapes to reach their peak ripeness. We can also say they are balanced, full and zesty, with good aromatic complexity and intensity.
Winter was a bit warmer than usual and there was less rainfall than usual. April and May were very wet. In fact, the rain in May caused drastic changes in temperature, greatly slowing down the growth cycle, thus, flowering was about ten days late. June was hot and dry. July saw the same hot temperatures, but also thunderstorms and an increase in humidity. There were two big rain and hail storms in August. Overall, the quality of the grapes is good, with average sugar levels and good acidity profiles. Quantities will be down about 15-20% over the whole region.
FRANCESCA DAL CERO of CORTE GIACOBBE
After two seasons like 2017 and 2018, which featured many difficult weather trends, the 2019 vintage was almost normal, in spite of the coldest and rainiest May we’ve seen in twenty years and a hot, dry June. The July and August rains helped stabilize the water reserves even in the hills, keeping the drought-like conditions of recent years at bay.
We managed the weather well in the vineyard and this shows in balanced grapes. The clusters are smaller and the grapes healthy and not tightly packed. Harvest for Soave began around 20 September and ended in mid-October when Runcata was harvested.
LUCA SPERI of SPERI
Overall, we can say that the quantity may be a little lower than what we expected, thanks to a reduction in the weight of the clusters due to uneven ripening. The quality is very good though. With an irregular vintage like 2019, having organic cultivation and hillside vineyards made a difference and we are particularly proud of the results we achieved in Sant’Urbano. There is good balance between the sugar and acidity, in addition to good color and aroma. We expect a good-to-excellent vintage.
FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA
Winter in FVG was dry and warm, rare for the region. In fact, temps surpassed 20 °C in February! These conditions accelerated the reawakening of the grapes and around April, early-ripening varieties began budding, about two weeks earlier than in 2018. But then the cold returned with lots of rain and heavy snow in the mountains. This instability lasted through May, which saw low temperatures. This slowed the growth cycle down and flowering took place in early June. July saw scorching temperatures at the same time the early-ripening grapes started veraison. August was also quite hot with little precipitation, but luckily, temperatures dropped overnight. Some growers needed to irrigate, especially those whose vineyards feature gravelly soils. Overall, ripening went well, but quantities are down about 20%.
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