2016 Vintage: chatting with the agronomist
Note: NEVER, but especially in a promising vintage, ask for vintage quality forecasting a grower of Sangiovese in Tuscany – where harvest starts late September, when weather is unpredictable and rain is never a remote risk, and Sangiovese is delicate as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown!
The agronomist words: « After a favourable early start, spring came late and was marked by heavy rains and temperature decreases. The season has now normalized with high temperatures during the day and cool night temperatures (most mornings leaves are wet). This allows the plants to breathe at night and progress toward ripening. Veraison has just started in all the vineyards and varietals, the sangiovese is slightly ahead. A rain now would speed veraison up and anticipate the ripening (right now it is not expected, yet!) . The grapes are sound and right quantity. I think we will harvest Sangiovese grapes late September/early October, as usual.
Interestingly, grapes in Cerbaiola (20ha estate vineyards in San Donato in Poggio, 12Km south) are ahead, due to some more heavy rains in recent days (the well-known microclimate of Chianti Classico!).
Always the same concerns at this time of the year: any continuing rains in late August could compromise the grape health and change harvest programs. »
Epilogue: We’ll see!