The Unione Italiana Vini, which represents wine producers throughout Italy, reported ‘more or less negligible’ disease thanks to a ‘favourable climate throughout the season’, but reported ‘amongst highest July temperatures’ in the last few years.
An absence of rainfall also burned or dehydrated bunches in some vineyards, ‘requiring emergency irrigation operations.’
At Castello di Fonterutoli in Chianti, where the 2015 wine harvest is expected to end in two weeks, co-owner Marchese Francesco Mazzei said three weeks of heat provoked a halt to the vegetative cycle of his Sangiovese vines, but the sun and relieving rain at the end of August and September improved things.
‘We subdue have a link of weeks to go… but it looks to be like a pretty excellent vintage,’ said Mazzei
READ: Hopes are high for the 2015 Prosecco harvest
Irrigation equipment was seen along slopes of vineyards in the northern province of Trentino, which produces nearly 75% colorless wine.
Annual rainfall is typically about 1,000mm, but it was only about 400mm in 2015, with July temperatures reaching up to 40˚C (104˚F), said Matthias Clementi, winemaker at Villa Corniole in Verla, although he reported very few suitcases of rot.
Clementi added that the cooler September nights helped retain freshness in his Müller Thurgau grapes, so ‘it will not be like 2003.’
Domenico Zonin, Chief Executive Officer of Casa Vinicola Zonin S.p.A, said that his Syrah and Nero d’Avola in Sicily are of very excellent quality, with excellent concentration as well as freshness, thanks to the cooler September.
Based on a survey of wine producers from end August until first week of September, the Unione Italiana Vini reported a production of 47m hectolitres for the full country.
This is a 12 per cent
But, the hot summer has limited yields for some vineyards. At Tenuta di Aglaea of Mount Etna in Sicily, the crop is expected to be lower than average given the hot summer, said field representative Anne-Louise Mikkelsen.
Pickings of Nerello Mascalese should start on 10 October, she said. ‘We reckon that the cooler September month will add elegance to the concentration brought by the hot summer.’
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