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Grape harvest in Italy has begun!

italian vintage 2016

Across Italy, fine wine grape growers are beginning to harvest their 2016 crop this week.

From the volcanic mountains of Campania in the south to the morainic hills of Lombardy in the north, pickers are headed to the vineyards with their crates in hand.

Currently, it’s only the producers of fine sparkling wines who are picking their grapes (and mostly only white grapes at this point). And it won’t be until much later that red grape growers will begin to pick their fruit.

It’s been a very uneven vintage throughout Italy, which is usually the case because Italian geography is so varied throughout the peninsula.

In northeastern Italy, they’ve experienced some heavy rain and even some hailstorms in recent months. Not ideal for growers, especially those who farm organically.

In northwestern Italy, they also had some bad hailstorms in Barolo country but the damage to vineyards was limited and will more likely result in smaller yields than in a mediocre vintage. The summer months have been very good to Barolo growers, blessing them with warm days alternated by cool nights.

Tuscany is also expected to have a very good crop and to produce top wines this year.

But as they say in the wine business, it ain’t over until it’s over!

Hopefully for growers, good weather will continue throughout the rest of August and September as they wait for the grape to fully ripen.

We’ll be reporting more on the harvest here on the Chamber blog. So stay tuned.

And in the meantime, check out this early dispatch from the vice president of the Franciacorta consortium.

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