EXTREME REPLY OF VINTAGE 2011
MAURO SIRRI’S HARVEST NUMBER 29
When it comes to global warming, melting glaciers, food problem for billions of people, we are often indifferent and sometimes suspicious of those who spread very reassuring news for our future.
Well, we farmers are experiencing firsthand the materialisation of predictions that as recently as a few decades ago, were considered biased and instrumental, supported by an “anti-capitalist and revolutionary” ideology.
I’m going to repeat what I wrote about the 2007 vintage:
“If we analyse the years from 1990 to 2000, we had more or less drought vintage years alternating with more or less rainy years, but all considered the range was acceptable from an agronomic point of view. If we analyse the years from 2000 to 2007, the tendency has resolutely mooved towards seasonal courses characterized by drought, becoming extreme in 2003, but especially in 2007.
In 2007 we had a complete absence of rainfalls during the vegetative period and the annual precipitations were reduced to the sixth in comparison with the average of the last 10 years. Further, during the summer we had a insistent sirocco blowing, which tried vineyards sorely”.
The year 2012 was characterized by very little precipitations if we exclude from the RECORD snowfall of 170 cm. Ten days of snow that blocked all economic activities, but that allowed us to enjoy the excitement of a village life, streets without cars and plenty of physical exercise with a shovel to shovel the snow.
After this event, the two thousand and twelve was characterized by very little rainfalls from June to September and by the south-west wind. The daytime temperatures were above 35 ° C and rarely went below 18 ° C during the night.
The vineyards probably are adapting to these climatic conditions, drastically reducing production, if we compare with the year 2010 (the last normal year) we have about 40% less production. If these conditions persist, this would call into question the economy of the wine-production in the hills.
Compared with the 2011 vintage, maybe even for the fit of the vineyard in extreme weather conditions the phenolic ripeness of the grapes was balanced, with plenty of sugar content, but also good acidity.
To overcome the problem of the high temperatures we harvested very early in the morning stopping at 10 o’clock and then started again at about five o’clock in the afternoon. The grapes had no weight and little juice, certainly with a high concentration of sugars but also a good concentration of acids.
On 16th of August, we started collecting the Chardonnay, then continued with the Albana and already on 28th of August, we started to introduce in the cellar Sangiovese grapes. Speaking with the old wine-makers of Bertinoro, no one remembers ever having started the harvest of Sangiovese in August.
At the end of September we had finished collecting, in advance of 15 days on the previous years, accusing a further loss of 20% compared to 2011 and a loss of 40% compared to 2010. Undoubtedly a difficult year for us, which adds to the difficulties encountered in the 2012 vintage that brings additional burdens and costs.
The wine market has seen wholesale price increases of 30-40%, fortunately producing everything from our vineyards, we are not subject to the schizophrenia of an unreal market, therefore, suffering in silence, our price-lists will remain fairly stable with a little retouch on some products, in the hope that the 2013 vintage will be more generous.