“Disaster” harvest 2014, potentially northern Italy’s rainiest vintage in our lifetime

rain veneto harvest 2014Above: my friend and client Luca Ferraro, grape grower and winemaker in the Prosecco DOCG, posted this photo on his Instagram this morning, noting that the 2014 is a “disaster… I’m losing hope,” he wrote.

As some northern growers have already begun to pick (Franciacorta) and some are preparing to harvest in roughly two weeks (Asolo-Conegliano-Valdobbiadene), incessant rains continue to plague embattled winemakers in northern Italy this week.

Scattered hailstorms have already caused widespread damage this year, particularly in Piedmont and to a lesser extent in Franciacorta and Prosecco country.

The following screen captures show weather forecasts for Valdobbiadene, Erbusco (Franciacorta, where they are already harvesting), Alba (Barolo and Barbaresco, the appellations hardest hit by hail this year), and Asti (Barbera and Moscato d’Asti).

The relentless precipitation is making it increasingly challenging for growers to combat rot and mildew in the vineyards.

My friend and client Luca Ferraro, a Prosecco producer, wrote last week that he’s abandoning in growing sites in the flats this year so that he can focus his already herculean efforts to save his hillside vines.

Piedmont is getting the warmth that it needs but note the cool temperature today in Valdobbiadene just two weeks from expected harvest.





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