We are very optimistic about the wine harvest. The clusters of grapes tend to be sparse with berries growing on small stalks. We feel confident to predict that we will be ahead of our timetabled harvest by almost 10 days
The rains in the second half of July have reduced the water stress that the vines were experiencing thus lengthening the time for the maturing of the fruit. The colour change of the grapes is even better than we anticipated and is more like the colours we would expect in vines which are planted in lower fields.
The grapes were definitely less abundant last year and we considered that to be quite a sparse crop. This year we have been able to remove any excess clusters, especially in vineyards where some of the new vines were too laden with grapes, they would have producted much more than the optimal production of 1.200 kg from every 4 bunches. This ‘green harvest’ was carried out at the Casato Prime Donne di Montalcino on the Sangiovese grapes which are intended for the Brunello and the Rosso di Montalcino and at Fattoria del Colle nel Sud del Chianti , in the vineyards of the Doc Orcia Cenerentola and the Leone Rosso.
We are very excited about the quality of these grapes and anticipate a 5 star harvest.
In Montalcino thinning the grapes allows us to control production to around 60 quintals of grapes per acre, which is a crop production which is determined by the official assembly of wine producers. This level of production relies entirely on the quality of the grapes which are being grown. We hope that the sun will shine the appropriate amount and help us to achieve our anticipated 5 star harvest.
The next job for those of us who tenderly look after the grapes will be the cutting back of the leaves which can only be performed when the sun is weaker and in the vineyards
which we pick last. This operation allows the grapes to dry quickly, in case of rain, and avoids them being attacked by mould. This is therefore a natural way to try and avoid any mould problems. We only ever use anti-mould products in the event of very severe weather conditions.
The harvest will begin with the Traminer grapes at the end of August, in early September we plan to start on the Merlot and between 10th and 15th the Sangiovese will probably be ready for picking.
Donatella Cinelli Colombini