2019 Harvest Report: Sicily & Sardinia
After one of the rainiest seasons (2018) the region has ever seen, Sicily is back to “normal” in 2019. There were still many interesting weather events to contend with, but not like in other regions. Budbreak went extremely well, in spite of a cool, wet spring. Heavy rains made it possible for the vines to face the hot summer and to ease through the cycle. Harvest was later than last year, but in line with historic timing. Quantities are down about 20% over last year and this is due to strong winds and rains during flowering. The plants did grow beautifully, with lush foliage that benefitted ripening. In terms of quality, the grapes were in excellent condition.
MICHELE FARO of PIETRADOLCE
We are truly happy – the season was dry and not too hot with a few days of rain in early October. But this didn’t create any problems and actually it cooled things down. This vintage is looking excellent!
GIANFRANCO SABBATINO of LE CASEMATTE and HAUNER
This harvest was surely high quality, perhaps one of the best of the last fifteen years. It was delayed (at least two weeks) and will be lower in quantity (about 30% less than last year). The reason is because of the slow start to the summer season. This lateness made it so the vines couldn’t kick off the cycle with their usual strength. Fortunately, the grapes were very healthy as there was no rain in August.
Things were regular up until May when the temperatures dropped significantly and the Mistral winds picked up, causing flowering to delay, and negatively affecting fruit set. This was particularly worrisome for white grapes. Red varieties were less affected by these phenomena, and in fact, Cannonau seems to have increased its quantities over 2018. Day/night temperature swings were excellent throughout the region so wonderful aromatic profiles and color can be expected. The grapes are very healthy as well leading us to believe in an excellent overall level of quality.
RAFFAELE CANI of SANTADI
The 2019 harvest will be remembered for the very cold month of May, which slowed the entire season. A mild summer favored excellent ripening and the chance to pick the grapes at the perfect moment. Regular rainfall in spring and drastic temperature swings between day and night allowed for an excellent cycle and healthy grapes. The wines are not yet ready, but initial tastings show structured, fresh whites with excellent aromatic persistence. The reds, which are about to start aging, are very balanced, with vivid and intense colors. Fragrant, refined, fruity, with great freshness and mature but mild tannins.
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