Above: Chardonnay grapes ready to be picked, from one of Cantele’s top growing sites in Salento, Puglia (Apulia). Southern Italy is generally the first to pick. But extended spring rain and cold temperature has delayed harvest throughout Italy this year.
For observers of the wine trade, this is one of the most exciting times of the year: the enoblogosphere and social media will overflow with images of ripe grapes and updates on the quality of the fruit and the harvest.
For grape growers and winemakers, this is a time for high anxiety: one rain or hail storm could ruin an entire year’s work.
And as my friend and client Gianni Cantele wrote on the CanteleUSA blog today, the little “elves” in the crushers and presses also can be a source of major problems.
There are a number of Italian winemakers who are posting about the 2013 harvest with nearly real-time updates.
Marilena Barbera at Cantine Barbera has vowed to post regularly on the harvest’s progression.
Alessandro Bindocci at the Tenuta Il Poggione in Montalcino has also been posting regular updates.
And I will be posting harvest updates for my clients Cantele, Barone Pizzini-Pievalta, and Bele Casel.
Yesterday, Barone Pizzini vineyard manager Pierluigi Donna noted that “Nature is making up for time lost during the cold and rain in the spring. We’ll be able to begin picking just after August 15. In other vintages, the grapes were already in the cellar by then.”
I’ve seen similar reports from other central and northern Italian wineries and I’ll be following along eagerly as more information comes in.
Do you know of a winery or grape grower who is documenting harvest 2013 through social media? If so, please let me know and I’ll include it in my roundups of harvest notes. Thanks!
And if you are a grape grower or winemaker and would like to send me your photos and notes, please do so!
Buona vendemmia! Happy harvest!