Italian growers cautiously optimistic about 2022 vintage.

Posting on the fly this early Monday morning in Brescia where I’m staying. Two more days and many more meetings and tastings before I head back to Texas on Wednesday.

But I wanted to get a quick post up with an update about the 2022 vintage.

Those are Sangiovese clusters, above, in Panzano in Chianti.

Light rain there late last week was just what the growers need as the red grape begins.

As one winemaker pointed out to me, the biggest challenge they were facing wasn’t just the fact that the summer had been so hot and dry.

There was very little rainfall in the early part of the growing cycle, she pointed out. As a result, the summer heatwave and drought could have been catastrophic.

Luckily, the August rainfall seems to be just what the doctor called for. And despite some scattered hail and some reports of mildew, growers are optimistic that this will be a good and even great vintage in certain spots.

I’ll be writing a more detailed report when I get back to my desk. But let’s just all keep praying for mild weather in the days to come.

In other news…

Anyone who’s ever been a working wine trip like this knows what a slog it can be. I’ve been going non-stop.

But on Sunday I took time out to have lunch with Giovanni and a friend from my Italian university years in downtown Brescia.

Man, it was amazing to see the piazzas and restaurants full of happy people kissed by sunny skies! I couldn’t help but remember the time when we were reading about Brescia every day on the cover of the New York Times. We all talked about how blessed we are to be here today after what happened here and across the world in 2020.

Those are the casoncelli I had for lunch at Trattoria Gasparo in the city’s historical center.

And, of course, who could resist a plate of vitello tonnato? Not me!

In Lombardy, they add a ton of sauce to the dish as you can see below. It’s like the Italian equivalent of a “wet burrito.” It was super delicious paired with Giovanni’s Franciacorta.

Wish me luck, wish me speed. Thanks for being here.

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