Above: you can read the Italian association of enologists (Assoenologi) forecast for harvest 2014 in its entirety on Luciano Pignataro’s site. Click image above to enlarge. The data above represent the 2014 yield forecast compared with yield data from 2013 and average yields over the last five years.
“The year of the black harvest,” wrote Corriere della Sera wine writer Luciano Ferraro on his blog on Friday, a forecast of a “30 percent decrease” in some appellations.
He was referring to report issued by Assoenologi, the Italian association of enologists and eno-technicians circulated by the group last week.
Disastrous snow storms in Abruzzo in November 2013; an accelerated growing cycle prompted by an otherwise extremely mild winter throughout Italy; intense hailstorms in the spring in northern Italy; incessant rainfall in July throughout Italy and an unusually cool August in northern and central Italy.
There will be some bright spots, write the authors of the report, but the outlook is bleak for most growers and winemakers.
In his post, Ferraro synopsized the forecast region by region and I have translated his notes below.
Major hailstorms and peronospora [powdery mildew] in Barolo. Overall production will be good, with some spots in great condition but few excellent [wines].
Rainfall for 90 days out of 151. Gray rot has affected 15 percent of the bunches. In Valtellina, if the weather gets better, growers can hope for an interesting although late harvest.
Widespread damage from peronospoora, wind damage for Marzemino. Lower alcohol levels for Chardonnay in Trentino. Things are better in Bolzano province, where the wines will have lower alcohol levels.
Vineyards have been affected by vine diseases because of rainstorms and low temperatures. Amarone production within the norm. Glera grapes (for Prosecco) will have interesting acidity levels.
Slow ripening of the grapes because of cold. Decrease in production of Pinot Grigio, Friulano, Chardonnay, Cabernet France, and Merlot.
Widespread cases of acid rot and botrytis in hillside vineyards. The health of Trebbiano is relatively good.
If September and October will be favorable, the vintage will be interesting. Otherwise, there will not be great spots nor excellent [wines].
July rains have compromised the health of the vineyards in all areas. In Castelli Romani and Orvieto province, harvest will not take place until the end of the month.
The overall quality of the grapes is relatively good. Harvest of Verdicchio, Trebbiano, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano will come a week late.
Enormous damage because of the snowfall last November but there is hope for an extremely interesting vintage for DOC wines.
The harvest will be completed in November when the Aglianico is picked. Late harvest with excellent promise for the grapes’ aromatic expression.
Primitivo harvest will begin next week. Good levels for the grapes, with yields restored thanks to August weather. In any case, the forecast is for a 20 percent drop in quantity.
In Sicily, the production will be 70 percent of 2013’s harvest [but] quality could be interesting. In Sardinia, the quality of the grapes is excellent [and] quantities have returned to the norm.