From Puglia to Friuli to Piedmont to Tuscany and beyond… many of my friends have begun sending me photos of the grapes they are harvesting.
Those are Chardonnay grapes in Franciacorta (Lombardy) harvested this week at the Vezzoli winery.
The 2017 is a vintage that will be remembered — without a doubt — as an extremely challenging one.
Warm temperatures came early in February and March, causing unusually early budding. Then in April, over the course of one week, two frosts struck northern and central Italy, capriciously devastating some growers and miraculously sparing others.
Summer rainfall helped some farmers but disadvantaged others when precipitation came in the form of “extreme weather events,” as we have come to call them in the era of climate change.
And who could avoid news this summer of the heat wave that affected European citizens of all stripes and further accelerated a vegetative cycle (that was already ahead of schedule thanks to the early budding in the late winter)?
From what I can gauge (between images that reach my inbox and photos I see on social media), most white growers are well underway with their picking. And many are resigned to lower yields this year.
It’s still too early to predict what will happen over the next few weeks for the red varieties. I’ll be following along…
Thank you, Solouva (my close friends and clients), for the image!