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   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 34, October 2005   
Vintage 2005: The PrevisionsVintage 2005: The Previsions MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 33, September 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 35, November 2005

Vintage 2005: The Previsions


 At the end of summertime - when most of the people still think about their vacation - the ones involved in wine business mainly think about the forthcoming vintage, while trying to foresee how the harvest will be and what they can get from the cellar. Their thoughts are absolutely understandable and legitimate; after all, depending on how the harvest will be, they will get their profits while wishing to be able to offer consumers good - hopefully very good - quality wines. For wine lovers instead, this is the period in which they try to get as much information as possible about the wines which will be then poured in their glasses. Two ways to see the “result of vintage”, however being interesting in both cases. Even this year - punctually - there were some rumors about this subject, both from producers as well as from professional association involved in wine business. Concerning the previsions for vintage 2005 in Italy, it seems we are having good and bad news at the same time.

 There are good news because, according to what has been said, the overall quality of grapes - and therefore of wines - has increased since 2004; bad news because the quantity of grapes which will be harvested in vineyards is lesser than the last year. Whether we can be happy of the fact in 2005 we will have very good quality wines, on the other hand, the lesser quantity which will be produced further confirms - and not only for reasons connected to the meteorological conditions of the year - the non very happy period the marketing and the consumption of wine are facing. In fact, many wineries still have in their cellars unsold bottles of the last vintage, therefore increasing the production with the harvesting of 2005 does not seem to be a good solution. According to what it is said, it is more likely many of these bottles will take the way of distillation, therefore meeting truly different glasses, very different from the ones generally used for wine.


 

 Let's proceed with order. According to the previsions of CIA, the Italian Confederation of Agriculturists, released at the beginning of August, it seems the overall quality of vintage 2005 will be pretty high, among the best ones in the last ten years and it will certainly surpass 2001, even with diffused excellent cases, just like 1997. A prevision which can certainly make happy both producers and wine lovers. Also according to what Italian Confederation of Agriculturists said, the quantity which will be harvested this year will be lesser of about 10% than 2004. These news, to tell the truth, do not worry that much: vintage 2004 was considered by everyone as abundant in terms of quantity and, in particular, it set a reprise - indeed, a return to normality - after the non truly happy 2002 and 2003 vintages. Moreover, according to the number of bottles produced in 2004 and still unsold because of the general crisis of which the market of wine is subject to, a lesser production in terms of quantity seems to be providentially coherent with what is happening in consumptions.

 Anyway, we still have the good news about the prevision of a very good quality 2005, better than 2001 - which certainly was a good vintage - and that will even surpass 1997. All this, of course, in general terms and provided there would have not been “bad surprises” in September, a fundamental month for the fate of vineyards. The meteorological conditions for 2005 have been pretty different - of course - in the many regions of Italy. Whereas in the northern part there was a cold winter with little rains, in the southern regions, rains have been pretty abundant. Temperature played the role of “condition equalizer”, which was everywhere pretty low. The arrive of the hot temperatures - even since the end of springtime - has made the ripening of grapes harder, however the subsequent conditions allowed a normal process and seemed to ensure a harvesting in pretty normal times and conditions. According to previsions, the harvesting will begin with early ripening varieties from the half of August in the southern regions and in the islands, then it will follow in the other regions, whereas late ripening varieties will be harvested during October. This is what can be said according to previsions, even though it is good to remember that at the end of August and during September, in some Italian areas there have been rains and hail which have damaged vineyards.

 According to the previsions of Italian Confederation of Agriculturists, the production of wine in Italy for 2005 will be something less than 50 millions of hectoliters, with a slight decreasing in respect of the abundant 2004 of about 10%. Veneto - with its about 8 millions of hectoliters - will be confirmed as the most productive Italian region, followed by Emilia Romagna, Apulia and Sicily, all virtually occupying the second rank with about 6 millions and 600 thousand hectoliters. As for the other regions, the production will be of about 3 millions and half for Abruzzo, between 2 and 3 millions of hectoliters for Piedmont, Tuscany and Latium and between one and 2 millions of hectoliters for Campania, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto Adige and Lombardy. The other regions will have a production lesser than one million of hectoliters, from 20 thousand of Vallée d'Aoste to 900 thousand for Umbria. Despite the decreasing of the production, there will however be an increasing of grapes destined to appellation wines (DOCG, DOC and IGT) whereas it is expected a decreasing for the production of table wines having no appellation.

 As for the acreage destined to the cultivation of vineyards, it has been recorded a decreasing in the whole territory of Italy, in particular in Sicily, Latium, Sardinia and Basilicata. Despite of this, Sicily is still the Italian region having the largest acreage, together with Apulia, Veneto and Tuscany. The region having the highest quantity to hectare ratio is Emilia Romagna with 120 hectoliters per hectare, whereas the last position is occupied by Sardinia with 24. Rigidity of previsions and numbers apart, the news of having an excellent vintage - they say among the best ones in the last ten years - certainly is the best thing we would have known about. However it will be necessary to wait for the reality of facts and the will of Mother Nature - in the hope it will be benevolent and will not change this good prevision - as well as the good job wine makers will do in their cellars. We just have to wait, always ready with our loyal glasses that - with joy - we will be ready to raise to welcome the very good vintage 2005 with a happy toast, in the hope it will not disappoint expectations as well as our senses.

 



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 34, October 2005   
Vintage 2005: The PrevisionsVintage 2005: The Previsions MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 33, September 2005 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 35, November 2005

MailBox


 In this column are published our reader's mail. If you have any comment or any question or just want to express your opinion about wine, send your letters to our editorial or fill in the form available at our site.

 

I am writing to you in order to have more information about the current evaluation form for distillates. As I think you are up to date and know your job very well, can you please tell me where can I find such a form? Thank you.
Tonia Papagno -- Barletta, Bari (Italy)
The practice of organoleptic and sensorial evaluation of distillates is mainly determined by the type of distillate to be examined. This means the evaluation criteria applied - for example - to a fruit brandy are different from the ones used for the evaluation of wine brandies. For this reason, the evaluation forms are mainly based on the methodologies and techniques suited for the tasting of any single distillate. To this should also be added the fact every association or consortium of production, use their own evaluation forms created according the principles and methodologies adopted by the association or the consortium itself. This is also the specific case of DiWineTaste, as in the evaluation of the distillates published in our guide Aquavitae we use our own methodology as well as our own evaluation form.



I am writing my thesis about marketing of tourism and wine. Some books I have read cite the pyramid of quality of Italian wines. Can you please provide me more information about the quality system used in Italy?
Ilaria Ferrucci -- Radda in Chianti, Siena (Italy)
The current system of production for Italian quality wines is regulated by CEE regulation n° 823/87, Italian law n° 164/92, Italian DPR n° 348/94 and by the disciplinary production in force for every appellation. The base of the pyramid is occupied by vini da tavola (table wines), which are not regulated by any law, there is no obligation to write in the labels the name of grapes used for the production but only the type. Next follows IGT wines (Indicazione Geografica Tipica, Typical Geographical Indication), regulated by specific disciplinary, require the area of origin to be written in the label and grapes used for production can also be mentioned as well. The next category - VQPRD (Vini di Qualità Prodotti in Regione Determinata, Quality Wines Produced in Determined Region) - includes two categories: DOC (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata, Denomination of Controlled Origin) and DOCG (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita, Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin). The wines belonging to this category are regulated by specific disciplinary, more rigid and scrupulous in the case of DOCG wines. To the top of the pyramid is found DOCG with indication of the subarea wines, that is wines having in the label the mention of a particular vineyard, area, place, farm or commune. To know more about this subject, please refer to the article “Italy” published in DiWineTaste's issue 1, October 2002.



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  Editorial Issue 34, October 2005   
Vintage 2005: The PrevisionsVintage 2005: The Previsions MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
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