The seasonal pattern this year resembles that of 1997, when wonderful Brunello wine was produced following a very hot summer and dry winter.
Hopefully the same will occur in 2012 for the vineyards of the Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in the Chianti and the Doc Orcia areas. The vines are in good health, but the incredible heat of June has already parched the arid land. After an autumn and winter of poor rains and heavy snowfall but at the same time a surprisingly dry period, we had poor spring rains and therefore there is not enough water stored in the soil. In comparison to the normal annual rainfall in the vineyards of this area, just in the past 12 months we have marked a reduction of more than half the normal rainfall. The vineyard soil is very dry and could force the wine producers to make a drastic reduction in the bunches of grapes during the green harvest, even if the short cold spring has already created a natural thinning in the bunches, just like in 1997.
For wines like Brunello and Chianti DOCGand also for DOC Orcia and Rosso di Montalcino irrigation is absolutely prohibited. It is allowed only in the vineyards on the farm and in fact the vineyard of the Croce, planted only last winter at the Casato Prime Donne di Montalcino, which has already been watered twice and will be watered again this week.
In the mature vineyards, we had a splendid setting, the load of the grapes is moderate with sparse bunches of small grapes. The trimming of the branches has been limited to the sprouts which were too long while the branches have been left with bunches of grapes well covered by leaves. The grapes are very healthy, the only phenomenon of some importance is a row of vines Ardita at
the Casato Prime Donne which was struck by lightning and had its branches and leaves literally “burned out”. At the moment it is very hot during the day, the thermometer rises above 38 ° C and at night drops slightly below 30°.
For now all is well, the 10 tenant farmers are working with full commitment to produce extraordinary grapes and everything suggests that they will succeed.
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
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