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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