20th August.

The Italian harvest has already started for some of the earlier ripening varieties. For most, producers are cleaning their presses! Here are some reflexions on the eve of 2020 harvest:

Despite COVID, producers have been very active in the vineyards through the year and have been able to carry out all vineyard work as necessary. In fact, many have been less distracted at their estates with less visits and visitors.

Generally, the 2020 harvest has great potential in Italy so far, although September is the crucial month for Italy’s finest reds. In Piemonte, Enrico Dellapiana, from his Rizzi estate in Barbaresco, is very excited about the prospects so far… “The grapes are looking beautiful,” he says. “After a warm and dry winter, the springtime was wet which was followed by a very warm summer but without very extreme temperatures that we have experienced in some hotter years.”

Further south, temperatures were higher but still not excessive. Gualberto Grati from Rufina, Tuscany, describes the many sunshine days of a very warm summer which makes him very optimistic after a fairly cool springtime. Yields are a little lower due to poor flowering but quality should be excellent.

Luigi Foschini at the La Guardiense Cooperative near Benevento, Campania, in the south of Italy also describes the beautiful grapes in the vineyards and remarks also on the temperature differences between night and day – essential for those complex aromas to develop in the Falaghina, Fiano and Greco grapes.

Despite COVID, things are looking positive in Italy! Let’s hope it continues….