Harvest 2018 in Brazil: the best of decade

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The Miolo Winery is close to finishing the 2018 harvest with a realization: for at least 6 years there was no climate so favorable for the quality of the vintage in Rio Grande do Sul. So far, in this decade, there were 2 harvests of exceptional quality: 2011 and 2012, but none will exceed the quality of 2018. In the 3 projects of Miolo in RS were collected 2/3 of the total estimated, which is 6.2 million kilos of grapes. In this way, it is already possible to safely assert its superior quality.

Climatic behavior x grape quality of the 2018 harvest

The winter of 2017 was one of the mildest in recent years, with a low accumulation of cold hours (below 7.2 ° C). Initially this caused a lot of fear, as it could generate negative reflexes in the breakage of the dormancy of the grape buds, interfering in the volume of production in 2018. However, the good phytosanitary status of the vines crown in the post-harvest of 2017 compensated for the lack of cold and the sprouting was vigorous and uniform. The less intense cold of the winter and the spring with favorable temperatures triggered the beginning of the sprouting, with 15 to 20 days of anticipation in most of the varieties.

The spring passed in the normal way, with no ups and downs of temperature, which led to continuous growth of the vegetation and flowering within the expected. Due to the reduced winter cold, some varieties showed fewer flowers per bunch, leaving them a little more “thin”, which influenced a lower average weight. In contrast, it provided a maturation with optimum quality and sanity in the early grapes, usually of more compacted bunches and susceptible to rot.

The rains of spring and early summer also occurred within the normal climate and only in October there was a week with slightly more intense rains that did not cause damage to the varieties that were still flowering.

The summer has been raining well below average due to the influence of the phenomenon “La Niña”, with very positive effects on the quality and sanity of the grape. The nocturnal mild temperatures are being a constant in the maturation period, with average thermal amplitude of 16 ° C, reaching in some cases to exceed 20 ° C, thus favoring the accumulation of coloring matter in the red varieties.

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2017 Eu wine grape harvest: the lowest in 36 years

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2017 seems the poorest wine grape harvest in 36 years, this caused by heavy hailstorms, late frosts in spring and a hot, dry summer.

According to the European Commission, production of pressed juice, or must, in Spain was set to be down 16 percent from 2015/2016 volumes. In France it would be 17 percent lower and in Italy down by 21 percent. Wine must production across the 28 members of the EU is seen at 145.1 million hectoliters, down 14 percent from the 2015/2016 level.

Harvest 2012 in Italy: less quantity… extraordinary quality!

Time of harvest in Italy! We eagerly await the results of the 2012 harvest, not only because the wine is the first Italian ambassador of Made in Italy in the world, but also because the sector has become a major economic reality in the agricultural sector.

Wine in Italy represents around 700,000 hectares of cultivated area, of which more than 70% of the areas belong to 500 DOC, DOCG and IGT which since last year have been aligned with the European PDO and PGI. According to Massimo Toso, head of the technical area in Cossano Belbo of Toso sparkling wine, the Moscato vintage 2012 has been developed with particular “slowness”, aided by the period of cold and rain that accompanied the last part of august and the first week of september. 

Among Moscato and Brachetto we notice differences: Brachetto has benefited only partly of the cooling of the end of August because in several vineyards (more than 50%) the harvest had already been completed. Moscato, however, has concentrated the largest proportion of its harvest after the beginning of september, taking full advantage of this more favorable climate. The main problems found with Brachetto grapes are derived from the fact that the hills of Acqui Terme (Piedmont) -where the most Bracchetto grapes were planted,  have benefited from low rainfall, such as Valle Belbo and the area around Alba in general where there were some refreshing storms in the month of July. 

Quality should be largerly good

Mario Catania, italian minister of Agriculture, meeting in these days regional councillors agriculture, said, “The drought this summer has hit hard in our country, not sparing even the vineyards. We expect the harvest may be, from the quantitative point of view, the lowest in history in Italy. I hope this record won’t have as a result of the lack of quality, but in this respect I say that the technical quality should be largely good, except for extreme situations. In any case we must take note of the ongoing climate change and work towards a more comprehensive policy, in the medium and long-term, to tackle the problem of organic water resources, both in terms of management and infrastructure.”

Optimistic about the quality

The area of ​​Franciacorta already finished the harvest at least two weeks ago says Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President of Federdoc and producer of Franciacorta and the quality of the grapes is definitely good. The amount of acidic sugar of the grapes is really ideal. Quantitatively, they estimate 30% less than last year. Harvest wasn’t that much anticipated much, because now as the trend which developped in the recent years, we started in the mid of august, adds Ricci Curbastro, but the climate is changing and we must adapt to the changes. “We expect a high quality wine”, confirms Marco Caprai; producer of Umbrian Sagrantino. “We will achieve a great deal but we are optimistic about the quality. The rains in recent weeks have done very well and the heat ventilated during the past few months has avoided the mold. We don’t expect a drop in production. In fact we think we can recover 10 to 15% compared to last year, which was very unfavorable because of the climate of 2011, with sudden heat, that put the last harvest in a real crisis.”

Henry Borzi

2011 VINTAGE AT CHATEAU MALARTIC-LAGRAVIERE, 1st GRAND CRU CLASSE PESSAC-LEOGNAN

 

More than a winemakers’ vintage: a vintage that required cool-headedness and a tailored approach!

 

If there are vintages for which the precision of the work in the vineyard is particularly important, then 2011 is a fine example!

 

The dry weather and early development of the vines were key factors for this vintage, and it was thanks to the precision of the work in the vineyard that we were able to extract the full potential of every plot.

 

Leaves were removed in the spring on a parsimonious basis, depending on each vine; the first green harvests take into account the age of the vines and their root development, with a view to avoiding stress. This meticulous work carried out by the Château’s permanent team continued after the beneficial rain in mid-July with a second removal of leaves and thinning of the bunches in August in order ensure uniform ripening, which had been uneven due to the dry weather between May and July. The minimum use of pesticides approach (full ploughing, grassing, no herbicides, mixed hedges surrounding the vineyard…) initiated more than ten years ago also contributes to balanced ripening and the aromatic complexity of the grapes, particularly in the more complicated vintages…

 

At harvest, the grapes had reached optimal ripeness with very satisfactory balances, but selection was still important and extremely thorough. More successive sortings were necessary for the white grapes than for a more classic vintage, and the sorting of the red grapes was a huge task.

 

In the vats, the extractions were slow, but we prefer to let time have its effect… This patience is rewarded because as a result of this slow process, the grapes release silky, beautifully formed tannins.

 

 

 

The wines produced at Malartic-Lagravière in 2011 offer superb purity of fruit, very rich and yet also very refined, accompanied by a silky, elegant, complex tannin structure. Definitely a vintage to taste as soon as you can!

Mrs Severine Bonnie of Chateau malartic-Lagravière with our editor