The 2014 vintage began with early budding, roughly two weeks before the average. Back in April, we were convinced that we would have an early harvest.
But the months of June and especially July were very rainy and cool. As a result, harvest was pushed back to a more normal schedule.
The frequent rains during the phase of leaf growth gave us concern for the health of the grapes. And so we were forced to concentrate our efforts on treatments for the vines and canopy management.
Our crop appears to be abundant and the quality of the grapes is good. We the month of August to thank for this: the weather has been perfect, with sunny, breezy days and cool nights.
We will begin picking today: we start with our grapes in Maiolati that will be used as the base wine for our classic-method sparkling wine Perlugo.
“Every parcel is treated separately and interpreted uniquely,” writes Barone Pizzini general manager Silvano Brescianini in an email today.
“There is no recipe. Each parcel is different.”
Barone Pizzini general manager Silvano Brescianini snapped the above photo today: newly picked Pinot Nero grapes on the sorting table.
Tomorrow they will be pressed, he wrote, resulting in “hopefully 20-25 barrels of wine,” he said.
Light rains have continued this week, the first week of harvest in Franciacorta.
It’s not an ideal situation but as along as the rainfall is light, it doesn’t impede the work in the vineyards nor does it damage the fruit.
The good news is that continued cooler temperatures are ideal during harvest.
The fruit on the vines is in excellent condition and the cool weather helps the winemaker to preserve freshness in the future wine’s aromas.
Of course, we won’t know the results of the 2014 vintage until we begin to taste the wines.
Stay tuned: we’ll continue to post updates here as they arrive from the winery.
We’re still waiting for notes on harvest from the Barone Pizzini team.
But right now the staff is too busy picking grapes!
They did take time out yesterday to send these photos.
Stay tuned for more info as harvest and vinification progress.
It’s been a challenging vintage but the fruit is looking good.
“The cool summer will be good for Franciacorta,” said Silvano Brescianini, Barone Pizzini general manager and vice president of the Franciacorta Consortium, in a press release issued earlier this week by the consortium.
“It has made for a slow ripening process of the grapes. The temperature variation between day and evening helps to preserve the ideal balance of acidity and aromatic character in the fruit.”
“Everything is in place for a vintage with great finesse and aging potential. But, as always, we’ll only be able to gauge the quality of the harvest after a few months when the base wines will be ready.”
“Franciacorta’s ‘little’ problem”
By Alfonso Cevola aka @ItalianWineGuy
“I just don’t get Franciacorta,” the tall lady muttered to her friend at a recent reception. Her friend was pouring all manner of cool wines from Germany, Austria and France. Grower Champagnes chilled in iced trays, alongside Franciacorta. I wondered why she said that, but I was in full-introvert mode, and was in no shape to investigate her motives.
Perhaps the lure of “Farmer Fizz” was too great. Maybe Franciacorta isn’t yet cool enough. I once heard a complaint that Franciacorta wines don’t have any unique sense of terroir. Clearly that person never made a 5K run around the vineyards, never sailed on Lake Iseo.
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