“Frost even in Sardinia.” Reports of widespread damage as Italian winemakers assess impact from spring freeze.

Above and below: frost-damaged vines in Piedmont, Italy. Photos via Vinarius, the Italian Association of Wine Retailers.

“Even in Sardinia — just think of that! — even in Sardinia they had frost damage,” wrote president of the Italian Association of Wine Retailers Andrea Terraneo in a WhatsApp message yesterday.

As Italian wine grape growers assess the damage from last week’s late spring freeze, when temperatures from Tuscany northward dipped below 20° F., the prospects of a bountiful 2021 harvest grow even more dim.

See, for example, this Facebook album posted by Cantina Berritta in Dorgali, Sardinia where the winemaker reports that up to 70 percent of their grape crop was destroyed by the extreme cold.

Trentino-Alto Adige was the only northern Italian regions that seemed to have avoided widespread frost damage, he said.

“They are telling me that because budding was a little bit behind” with respect to other regions, he wrote, “only a few buds were frozen. But in warmer regions, where the vines had already begun to bud, the frost left its mark.”

In a heartfelt Facebook post addressed to winemakers, Andrea wrote that “it’s going to be up to retailers to explain to consumers just how challenging your work is.” He added: “if frost damage forces you to raise your prices, rest assured that we will be there to explain why to our customers.”

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