2019 Harvest Report: Tuscany
The odd man out this year, Tuscany seems to be the only region to increase its quantities over 2018. Winter was colder than average with very little rainfall. But February was warm and spring saw many storms, which replenished water reserves. Budding was only slightly delayed thanks to low temperatures and heavy rains in May. June was one of the hottest in recent years and summer was full of storms and even hail. However, the grapes were able to remain healthy with no disease. Veraison began a week late while harvest took place 10-15 days late compared to last year.
ANDREA COSTANTI of COSTANTI
The 2019 harvest season is very high quality. In February, the Consorzio di Brunello will release the official results, but I have no doubt it will get five stars. We harvested from 29 September to 2 October. The grapes are extremely healthy with sugar around 240-250 g/L so the alcohol is around 13.7 to 14.2%. As with any great year for Sangiovese, the 2019 wines will have excellent acidity and at the end of malolactic fermentation, acidity will be around 5.5-6.0 g/L.
The season was quite unique; winder was cold, even hitting temperatures below zero in January. It wasn’t raining, but there was little snowfall. Spring saw a horrible May – very rainy, with low temperatures. This slowed down the growth cycle, but this was positive. Summer was very cold but not too cold, with high temperatures in July and rain in late August. The weather in September is quite determining for quality, and there was little rain with mild temperatures, great ventilation and cool nights. The days of harvest were also excellent and we finished right before it started to rain.
ADRIANA BURKARD of TERRABIANCA
2019 is proving to be a generous vintage in terms of quality and quantity and an ideal one for Terrabianca to improve viticulture and winemaking techniques aimed at preserving the freshness and complexity of the grapes.
The growing season started out cool and wet, finally providing adequate water for the vines after two dry years. But the summer was hot and dry and conditions were excellent for fruit set and ripening. We intervened with some green harvesting (especially in the Maremma vineyards) and parcel-tailored canopy management to limit the impact of the heat and dryness in areas with lighter, sandier soils. In the last phase of ripening, 2019 required this type of “micromanaging”— which we applied during harvest as well, tasting and sampling berries every day, hand picking parcels or even picking just a few rows exactly when they reached ideal maturity. Today we are harvesting the coolest, latest-ripening parcels of Sangiovese in Radda, which will, I believe, allow us to make wines with unusual aromatic complexity as well as perfectly ripe tannins this year.
Overall, the dry, sunny autumn has made for a very promising vintage. The Cabernet is especially delicious – doing the blend for Campaccio 2019 will be a pleasure – and the Sangiovese I have tasted so far are ripe and balanced with gentle spice and signature red cherry flavors.
DANIELE ZEFFIRINI of FULIGNI
2019 was a classic harvest. The first half of the year was difficult and it rained a lot. April was especially rainy, which replenished the water reserves and slowed the growth cycle down. Summer was hot and normal with little rain and September was excellent with sunny days and cool nights. These diurnal temperature changes allowed for perfect phenolic ripening and the extraction of excellent aromas. The grapes are very healthy and the wines have outstanding structure, freshness and color. These wines are suitable to a memorable Brunello 2019.
STEFANIA BUSSOTTI of CIGNALE
Harvest 2019 was overall good in terms of quality and quantity, even though it started much later than in other years, thanks to the cool temperatures and rain in spring, especially May. This delated the cycle 15 days. But due to the weather conditions in September and October, which were quite stable with high temperatures and excellent day/night temperature swings, we were able to reach an excellent level of quality. In our area, it was a positive vintage for Merlot and Cabernet and we expect excellent wines.
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