Höstens första skörderapport kommer från Farnese i Italien;
In Sicily on Monday, we officially started off with harvest 2013; the first grapes to be taken to the winery were the beautiful Chardonnay grapes; the grapes have a sugar content that can make a wine of about 13,30/13,70% alc. but I think it’s better if I start from the beginning:
After an average Winter with plenty of rain and snow which gave the earth all the water supply it needed, March was rather cold and rainy and the plants sprouted up late compared to the average season, however when they started to grow the weather was good and lasted until mid April. From end April to beginning June, it rained a lot and temperatures during the day were normal for the time of year but during the night temperatures dropped below the average.
The plants started to blossom late and blossoming lasted longer than it should have causing uneveness to the shape of the bunches and to the grapes. The rapid growth of the grapes allowed a catch up but then the heavy rain and hail that hit the area (where we make Fantini) on 24th and 28th June made it all pointless. Quick aid and the use of copper to disinfect helped heal the wounds and reduce the damage caused. The weather from beginning July to 20th August was good hence it allowed the healthy grapes to grow properly and the damaged grapes to dry without mildew.
We can therefore say that year 2013 is divided into two parts: in the first part uncertain weather and hard work to avoid damage to the grapes. In the second part of the year the weather was perfect for the grapes and sanitary intervention was carried out the least possible which was helpful.
The wines are great, the early-ripening grapes seem to be 5-10% more than last year, the other grapes are the same. However, compared to the past years the grapes have ripened late, the early-ripening ones (moscato, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio) will be harvested about 10 days late. The other white grapes (Trebbiano, Cococciola, Malvasia, Passerina and Pecorino) will be harvested about mid September. As for the red grapes, we will be starting with Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet and then comes our prestigious Montepulciano d’Abruzzo that will be picked about end September for the younger vineyards and those facing South; all the others will be picked end October depending on the ripeness of phenols needed to make premium wines, prestigious wines, wines to be aged in barrels etc.
As regards the quality of the white varieties, if the weather is good in September we expect a very interesting vintage with some excellent wines; as regards the reds:the heart of the harvest is mid October so it’s now a little hard to make a forecast considering temperatures (day and night) influence the ripeness (technology and phenols) while humidity influences the health.
However we are assured about the work done so far by the farmers and agricultural agents to allow our winemakers to have grapes that are able to satisfy the winemakers needs and those of the market.