Expert hands picked clusters of white grapes to start off our 2017 harvest. This year, the cumulative heat degrees required to ripen the fruit were reached some 15 days early, and picking started on 24 August.
The favourable weather conditions that marked the entire growing season ensured even, steady vine development and textbook progression through the successive growth stages, as well as the reduction to a minimum of anti-pest treatments. Our GPRS vineyard monitoring system, which gives us real-time data for parameters such as temperature and humidity, allows us to predict the onset of any pathogen development, and that helped us to reach harvest with perfectly sound, healthy grapes.
In spite of the long, hot summer, which speeded up the ripening process, careful application of emergency irrigation made up for lack of rainfall and ensured the vines adequate water availability; additional help came from significant day-night temperature differentials, which kept both acid and sugar concentrations high. Aromatic and phenolic compounds were equally satisfactory.
The white grapes are already on their way to the cellar, as are the early-ripening reds, such as Merlot, while the Sangiovese will require a few more days on the vines.
Once again, painstaking human efforts were assisted by up-to-date modern technology, all in striving for the highest-possible quality. As just one example, awaiting the arrival of the grapes in the cellar is an optical grader, which automatically selects the healthiest berries and rejects, by means of air jets, any berries that are imperfect or unripe.
One hallmark of this vintage is the musts’ significant concentration, which we expect will give us very forward, decisively-charactered wines with deep pigmentation, particularly in the reds. The quantity will be slightly less than last season, but the quality will be high. So, this year, too, although we are at just the initial stages of the harvest, all the components are in place for true “collector-worthy” wines.