Category Archives: Uncategorized

2020 Harvest in Trecciano

The year 2020 will always be connected to the COVID-19 virus appearance all over the world and, in particular for us, in Italy. Our lives – daily and family activities – either stopped altogether or slowed to a trickle. Mother Nature’s activity in the countryside did not stop and indeed showed us all its beautiful vigorous energy!

After a dry winter season characterized by a low rainfall, vines began to sprout in late March, during very cold days. These low and freezing temperatures, even below zero, caused moderate damage in our vineyards located at the bottom of the valley, and consequently a 15-20 per cent reduction in grape production.
Spring season gave us warm and sunny days, with temperatures above the seasonal average. We worked our vineyards following the vine’s vegetative cycle. We tied the shoots to the support wires, we removed secondary buds formed on the vine stock, and as needed, we made phytosanitary organic treatments to support the growth phase and ensure our vineyards’ good health.
The blooming period was delayed to the second half of May. This brought an excellent result favored by a good climatic trend, with warm, dry and slightly windy days. Th fruit set was excellent and produced optimum new young clusters.

vendemmia 2020 a Trecciano

 

vendemmia 2020

 

Despite a fresh and rainy June, the Summer season started, bringing very high temperatures, especially in August, when we had extremely limited excursions between night and day temperatures.
This climatic trend caused water stress in the grapes, which we promptly solved by practicing drip irrigation during the hottest days and nights, according to the rules laid down by the production regulation.
Fortunately, such a dry season led an excellent ripening of our grapes: perfectly healthy, sound and very concentrated in fruity aromas.
Traditionally September would symbolize the beginning of Fall, but instead, as has happened in the past few years, this 2020 vintage has seen an extension of the Summer.

The first two weeks were very balanced, with sunny weather and mild daily temperatures, and our 2020 Harvesting Season began on September 14th with the Merlot grapes in our small vineyards; followed, in the third week, by the harvesting of Sangiovese. Late September brought fresh temperatures and some rainfalls, that allowed our Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab. Franc and Syrah grapes to reach an optimum ripening to be harvested in first ten days of October.
Thanks to the optimal climate trend that improved week by week, we can say that we had a quality 2020 Harvest: delivering very promising grapes, especially for medium to long aging red wines.

With great optimism, we welcome the gifts of nature and, contrary to the negative world economic situation, we have a renewed enthusiasm as we now are patiently working the musts, which begin to take shape, telling us a new stimulating story: the story of our new wine.

2020: the year that changed the world? The story of an extraordinary vintage in the words of Axel Henz

 

2020 will remain in the history books for many reasons, first and foremost for all the emergencies caused by Covid-19, which put the whole world on standby for several weeks. Also from a winemaking point of view, there will be plenty to remember: a dynamic year, full of climate-related twists that maintained an incredible level of suspense until the final days of the harvest. In a few years’ time, 2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as another fine vintage for Bolgheri wines.

Axel Heinz, Estate Director, reports the vintage in his own words:

FIRST, QUIET, THEN THE COVID “STORM”

Nothing in the winter foretold a vintage so different than usual, except for the repeated mild and rainy climate, with temperatures rarely close to 0°C. Nevertheless, at the beginning of March, we just managed to finish the winter vineyard work and to bottle Le Volte dell’Ornellaia before the national lockdown was enforced. Fortunately, the buds took their time and broke in the last week of the month, giving the Ornellaia team time to prepare and organize our work in utmost safety.

A MAGNIFICENT SPRING, TIME OF SERENITY

In April, Mother Nature seemed to want to compensate for the difficulties of the lockdown, gifting the vineyards with textbook conditions until the end of May, with hot, mostly dry days. The vines grew regularly, allowing the leaves to be pruned without too much haste. The flowering and fruit set occurred in perfect conditions during the last week of May. June, on the other hand, proved very wet, accelerating the growth of the vines and upping the pressure for plant treatments. The bunches grew substantially at this time and considerable vineyard management was required to keep the foliage under control.

JULY AND AUGUST: THE LEGEND OF THE BOLGHERI SUMMER IS A FACT

July was hot and dry, essential for initiating the veraison, which developed slowly and punctually towards the end of the month. In August, the temperatures increased further, totalling 47 days above 30°C for the entire season, with frequent highs of 36-37°C, making this summer comparable with 2015.

As we could have expected, the first samples of Sauvignon Blanc at the beginning of August already showed a high sugar concentration, which gave rise to predictions of an early harvest. Fortunately, the high daytime temperatures also dipped under 20°C at night, allowing the grapes to develop their aromatic potential and maintain good acidity.

Meanwhile, the red grapes continued to ripen slowly, creating an interesting phenolic potential. At the end of August, rain arrived in time to alleviate the excessive water stress and lower the temperatures. During the Merlot harvest, the temperatures dipped to 14-15°C at night, perfect for gathering these grapes at the height of their perfume and energy.

HARVEST: ONLY THE RAIN CAN STOP US

The first bunches of Sauvignon Blanc were harvested on 13 August, finishing with the final berries on 25 August. The Viognier harvest saw similar times, from 14 to 28 August, showing moderate sugar levels and excellent acidity. For the reds, the harvest commenced on 3 September with the youngest Merlot vines.

In mid-September, a sudden change occurred: a heatwave shortly before the Merlot and Vermentino harvest had been completed. The sugar levels increased and the berries started to become concentrated, accelerating the ripening. In many vineyards, the harvest had to be carried out in two stages: separating the healthy fruit from the grapes burnt by the sun. The Cabernet was harvested immediately after the Merlot, a rare event for Ornellaia, as too was the simultaneous harvesting of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

A second wave of rain, this time longer, granted a moment of rest for the team during the harvest, which resumed at the end of September, ending earlier than usual, on 3 October. The late harvest of the Petit Manseng noble grapes, used to make the estate’s dessert wine, took place a week later, concluding on 9 October.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE WINES: ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

I can certainly say that 2020 will be a successful vintage for all Ornellaia wines,” Axel Heinz concludes his vintage report. 

Given the particularly hot summer, the white grapes were harvested early to preserve their aromas and freshness. The Sauvignon Blanc is very balanced, with moderate alcohol, fresh and juicy acidity, and magnificent expressions of ripe tropical fruit. The Vermentino and Viognier are rich and floral, also showing good energy, while the Petit Manseng achieved concentration levels rarely seen before.

The reds are very promising, with a rich and structured style. The Merlot has a smooth texture and great intensity of fully ripened red fruit, without being heavy. The Cabernet Sauvignon, in some cases, is still fermenting, but early samples reveal wines with a regal poise, darkly hued, with classic notes of plants and blackcurrants, and dense and solid tannins.

It’s no longer a secret that Bolgheri is one of the best places to grow Cabernet Franc, but the level reached with the 2020 vintage remains astounding. Rich and dense, with refined tannins, it literally explodes into notes of blackcurrants, violets and delicate plant aromas.

Tenuta Luce The Luce harvest 2020 Grapes with perfect maturation

 

The yield 2020 is in the cellar. Unique like all the previous vintages, with grapes of high quality.
“Winter was largely dry and mild, conditions that ushered in an early but even budbreak, beginning in the second week of March for Sangiovese and the third week for Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A sunny spring, with some rainfall in May, set the stage for a slightly early but excellent flowering around 25 May, followed by a rapid fruit-set. Summer proved hot and sunny, with almost no rainfall, but sporadic rain in the first three weeks in June had the beneficial effect of preparing the vines to cope well with heat, and the result was a welcome gradual ripening.  In the final week of August, two spells of rain gave relief to the vines and lowered temperatures, allowing the vines to fully complete the ripening process. The harvesting of the first Merlot parcels for Lucente began on 3 September, followed on 10 September with the Merlot for Luce. The grapes were sound and healthy, with ideal ripeness levels; they also showed significant aromatic qualities, thanks to wide day-night temperature differentials over the final weeks of the harvest. We stated picking the Sangiovese on 16 September, and continued through the last week in September. On 30 September, illuminated by a brilliant sun, picking of the Cabernet Sauvignon dedicated to Lux Vitis brought the harvest to a triumphant close.” – Lamberto Frescobaldi
Passion, in a particular year like this, is a modality used all days at Tenuta Luce, in each activity in vineyard and cellar.
Tenuta Luce, founded at the beginning of the 1990s, is an 88 hectares estate of well-tended vineyards located in Montalcino. Thanks to the farsightedness of the owners, the Frescobaldi family, Tenuta Luce brings to life unique wines, bearing the extraordinary qualities of its territory combined with its strong personality. In a short period of time it has risen to be ranked among the most renowned wineries in Tuscany.Its portfolio consists of the standard-bearer Luce, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary with vintage 2017; the second vin Lucente; the Luce Brunello as tribute to Montalcino’s oenological tradition, and few precious bottles of Lux Vitis, a Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Sangiovese.

What wine to serve when it’s hot?

Wine accompanies your meals, your aperitifs or your picnics. And with soaring temperatures as summer approaches, you might be wondering which wine to serve when it’s hot? We give you some indications.

A refreshing rosé

As long as you keep it cool, you can serve a rosé like. This wine is also perfect to accompany summer meals:

  • grills or pastas, pizzas,
  • salads,
  • aperitifs.

It is more appropriate to serve dry rosés in case of strong and repeated sunshine.

A red wine to drink chilled

To be served chilled, red wines are also suitable for the season, as long as they are stored in a dry place, away from light and heat (between 11 and 15 degrees).

Champagne served at low temperature

It is best to serve champagnes very chilled, that is to say that do not exceed ten degrees. You have the choice between, for example, the Champagne vintage, or a sparkling wine: Crémant de Bourgogne from Domaine Deliance.

Some tips for drinking your wine in hot weather

Most categories of wine can be consumed in summer, it is simply necessary to know how to serve them well and to choose the best according to the conditions. It is recommended that you serve the alcohol cooler than you normally would. Ambient heat quickly increases the temperature of the wine once served in the bottles. Also, do not hesitate to cool your wines before serving them: refrigerator, very cold water, bucket of ice cubes, etc.

Fresh toasts to Col Vetoraz’s summer, where harmony is at home

 

The welcome wine par excellence knows how to adapt to every season of the year but you know, in summer it more easily recalls the desire for liveliness, joy, lightness and sharing in friendship. And what summer would it be without exchanging toasts and smiles? Col Vetoraz puts his answer in the glasses giving for the most beautiful season of the year so much lively freshness, but without forgetting the notes of elegance and harmony that have always been the distinctive feature of his sparkling wines.

In line with the desire for pleasantness typical of these months of the year, among the labels of the company from Santo Stefano di Valdobbiadene we specially choose two wines at the antipodes in terms of taste; Valdobbiadene DOCG Brut for dry palates and Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry for those who prefer more sweet tones.

The first is obtained from grapes from the hillside vineyards exposed to the west where ripening is ideal to produce this specific type, suitable for palates that prefer dry, intense and dry taste without sharpness but at the same time gives delicate aromas. It can be enjoyed on fish starters, mixed fried fish, aged cheeses, even processed vegetables, first courses with seafood and baked fish dishes. The second, friendly that immediately invites you to taste is the true prince of aperitifs. It is obtained thanks to a careful selection of the grapes that grow in the exclusive area of ​​Valdobbiadene, has a balanced taste and elegant tones whose moderate residual sugar contributes to obtaining a great harmony of the whole. The delicately fruity aromas recall the rose, the acacia flower, the delicate vine flower, the white peach, the pear, and a slight citrus fruit. It can also be paired with meats, croutons, fresh cheeses, salmon canapés or smoked sturgeon, or with pasta dishes such as cold or legume soups or with raw fish, lobster, scampi and seafood salads accompanied with side dishes. potatoes and herbs.

Always at the forefront of the most accredited wine competitions, here are the awards obtained in the last period by the company’s wines. The International Wine and Spirit Competition 2019 awarded the Silver Medal to Valdobbiadene DOCG Superiore di Cartizze with 92 points and Valdobbiadene DOCG ‘Dosaggio Zero’ with 90 points while the Bronze Medal at Valdobbiadene DOCG Brut 2018, at Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry 2018 and Valdobbiadene DOCG Dry Millesimato 2018. A Bronze Medal at Valdobbiadene DOCG Extra Dry was received at the International Wine Challenge 2019.

There are instead five Silver Medals awarded by the XIII International Wine Competition “Città del Vino”, Forum Spumanti (formerly Mayor’s Selection) to all five types of sparkling wine.

ORNELLAIA TOUR & TASTING: a Journey through Emotion

Travelling along the Viale dei Cipressi, one first catches sight of Bolgheri’s roofline and the Tyrrhenian Sea behind it. Then, just a few more minutes and the gates of Ornellaia greet its visitors on their adventure to discover the famous Bolgheri Superiore DOC. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, it is in fact the ideal time to plan a trip along the Tuscan coast, exploring its villages, and above all to understand where and how one of the Italy’s true treasures emerge: Ornellaia, a wine that has succeeded in positioning itself at the top of international wine charts in only 30 years.

The wine experience starts in the vineyards, on a discovery tour of the different micro-zones, the soil composition of the vineyards, and how the vines are trained. Following the path of the grapes, the journey continues into the cellar, where visitors can see where the wines “take shape” and also admire the art installations that from 2009 to today, one each year, have enriched the Ornellaia collection, thanks to the Vendemmia d’Artista art project.

Even before entering the cellar, visitors can gaze upon some artworks out in the open air: “Happily Ever After” by Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh, “Splash” by John Armleder, and Yutaka Sone’s interpretation of L’Eleganza. Once visitors enter the cellar they are struck by the explosion of colours of Luigi Ontani’s installation, followed by those of Zhang Huan, Rebecca Horn, Michelangelo Pistoletto and others along the way. Descending into the heart of the cellar is increasingly exciting: the oak barrels are imposing, and in the air – in a perfect silence –  you can almost smell the wine.

At the end of the tour, finally, a tasting of the entire range of the current vintage. Wines include Le Volte dell’Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, and Ornellaia. But there’s more. Ornellaia has saved a truly exclusive surprise for its guests: a tasting of “Variazioni in Rosso dell’Ornellaia”, a cuvée that can only be tasted and bought at the estate. With this limited-production Tuscan IGT, Ornellaia expresses the individuality of each vintage through a particularly distinctive grape variety that the winemaker highlights in the blend. An inimitable tasting experience.

The “Tour & Tasting by Ornellaia” is available with advance booking. For info and prices: hospitality@ornellaia.it

The Châteaux de Meursault and Marsannay have obtained level 3 High Environmental Value (HVE) certification

This covers 106 hectares: 67 hectares in Meursault and 39 hectares in Marsannay.
Level 3 is the only level that allows the holder to use the wording “High Environmental Value” and demonstrates an effective commitment to an approach that respects the environment: “Indicators of results relating to biodiversity, phytosanitary strategy, management of fertilization and irrigation”.This certification validates the move towards organic cultivation adopted by the Château de Meursault and the Château de Marsannay. Across the two villages of Meursault and Marsannay, one third of the area under vine is already cultivated according to organic specifications by the Châteaus, “with the aim of having all the vineyards organic within three to five years,” explains Stéphane Follin-Arbelet, Managing Director.

Another major step forward for the Château de Meursault will be the first harvests in 2018 from 8.8 hectares of newly-planted Pinot Noir:
•   1.5 hectares of Corton Grand Cru Les Maréchaudes
•   0.7 hectares of Aloxe-Corton Premier Cru Les Maréchaudes
•   0.8 hectares of Pommard Premier Cru La Platière
•   3 hectares of Pommard La Platière (Village AOC)
•   2.8 hectares of Ladoix Les Chaillots (Village AOC)

The acquisition of these new plots meant fresh investments in the winery, notably the purchase of some oak and stainless-steel vats to vinify the additional must in optimal conditions.

FAKED PROSECCO: EUROPE MUST REACT

 Elisabetta Gardini MEP  wants the European Commission to react to the issue of faked Prosecco.
Indeed, the producers of Prosecco, the sparkling wine from northern Italy, advocated by  azienda Battisti have, with MEP Gardini, raised a t serious problem. Millions and millions of bottles of false Prosecco are produced in Brasil yearly and the commission “has te react” according to Elisabeth Gardini.

According to Mrs. Gardini, “recognition of Prosecco at European level has asked years of work for italian winemakers and an enhancement of land and soil”

“The case will not be easy to solve  as it will force Brazil to intervene and seize the false Prosecco which would be in the world market. This is yet another issue that indicates the need for greater coordination at European level.

An issue to be followed in the coming months

PLANTING RIGHTS: AN ITALIAN MEP WANTS TO PROTECT ITALIAN AUTHENTICITY

The issue of planting rights was discussed Monday night at a special symposiumat the European Parliament, led by Ms Astrid Lulling MEP (EPP, Lu).

In Italy, MEP Giancarlo Scotta (EFD, I) advocates the voice of the vineyardswhich are against the projects of liberalization of the Commission. He considers that liberalization of planting rights is a threat to the authenticity of Italian wines and he fears a relocation of production to regions with more favorable social conditions and less costs of production..

The MEP also focuses on the role of the Commission to effectively control designations of origin and fight against counterfeits.

Giancarlo Scotta MEP (EFD, I)

PLANTING RIGHTS: THE WINE INDUSTRY RALLIES AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Astrid Lulling MEP,(Lu, PPE), chairman of the wine intergroup in the European parliament

Astrid Lulling MEP (EPP, Lu), with his colleague Michel Dantin (EPP, F) invited friends and colleagues all of the wine industry to discuss the problem of planting rights in the european union..

Currently, the European Commission wants to liberalize planting rights and allow all winemakers throughout Europe to plant new vines without restrictions. Emerging markets like Britain has expressed its position in the voice of the McIntyre MEP (UK, ECR) support the position of the Committee.

Most producing countries (including France, Italy, Spain and Germany) want to limit the planting rights in the UE to keep a stabilised market.

The meeting took place at the European parliament

Wine estates owners have worked hard on qualitative recognition of soils and land, and want to avoid a loss of land quality, a price collapse, a loss of wine quality, and environmental disaster that would result from an overproduction  (particularly in terms of the exhaustion of the water)

Unusually, all the ministers of agriculture of the major wine producing countries were present to express the position of their national governments who oppose the liberalization of planting rights.

Many french, italian and spanish MP’s were there to express their opposition to liberalised planting rights.

The representative of the European Commission. said that the commission would hear all parties and that the Commission doesnt’t have expressed its posiiton yet. This is already a shift in the position that the commission has issued since the beginning..

Mrs Lulling, MEP, president of the intergroup “wine” in the EP considers that we are near to a solution. Countries like Belgium and Poland have yet to be won to secure the future of tomorrow the wine industry in the European Union.

Motre to come in our emagazine VINEYARDSPAPER on march 30th 2012