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Countdown for Donatella’s grape harvest

Nello Gaspardo

Countdown for Donatella’s grape harvest

It began with Traminer and will continue with the Brunello Sangiovese, Chianti and Orcia which will be picked after the 20th of September, if the deer don’t get to them and eat them sooner

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

sangiovese-2013

sangiovese-2013

Seeing the quantity of grapes eaten by wild boar, deer and roe-deer it comes natural to ask oneself if Tuscan grape growers cultivate grapes as animal nourishment rather than for wine. What a disaster! Year after year the problem is always worse and reduces the yield by 10-20%. It is surprising how a region like Tuscany, where wine is an important part of the economy and the employment, has n administration who is not sensitive to this problem and who dies not try to balance the number of wild animals with respect to the dimension of the woods.
Let’s change subject!
The Traminer harvest began on September 9th and lasted one and a half days-it is destined for the production of passito – my husband Carlo’s passion – and the white IGT “Sanchimento”. The grapes were refrigerated so as to reach the fermentation vats in excellent conditions.
The sky is cloudy but it’s not raining. The heat of the first week in September

Barbara Magnani the winemaker selecting grapes for Passito

Barbara Magnani the winemaker selecting grapes for Passito

speeded up the ripening of the red grapes, who according to the Consorzio del Brunello have gone up by more than 1% of potential alcohol between Augusts 27th and September 3rd and more than a half a percent in the week up until the 10th, with the Tavernelle area ahead of everyone else and ours behind the rest. We are in the cooler area which is mostly favoured by global warming.
In 2013 the rain during the flowering period determined the forming of small clusters, which with the present climatic conditions are a real fortune because they will resist better if there are some rainfalls. Plus the vines have been cleared of their leaves to maintain the clusters dry and not allow them to lose the perfect healthiness they have. At this moment there is not even one grape with mould. In Montalcino we had not seen the vines cleared of their leaves in the past10 years!

cooling the grapes before the vinification

cooling the grapes before the vinification

Its the rain and the hail that create the uncertainty which separates from a great harvest: harvest which is “old style” as defined by Professor Attilio Scienza, with lower temperatures than in the past few years, soil rich in water and a long vegetative cycle which traditionally produced wine which are longer lasting and more complex., in other words wines which are very important.
It is surprising how many vines have died during the last few months. It’s practically been a case of decimation, which strangely has been more intense than last year when the drought seemed to have reduced the ability of the vines to survive to the extreme.

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