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   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 55, September 2007   
The Hot Vintage 2007The Hot Vintage 2007  Contents 
Issue 54, Summer 2007 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 57, November 2007

The Hot Vintage 2007


 A hot weather like the one of summertime 2007 was not seen since many years, not only in Italy, but also in other countries of the world. The worldwide climate is changing with pretty bizarre manifestations - unusual for sure as well as preoccupying - and lately this is not considered as a newsworthy event anymore, although we should at least ask ourselves about the reasons responsible for these changes. In Italy temperature has also raised over 40° C, in particular in Southern regions, with pretty obvious results, according to a viticultural point of view. The ripening of grape, and therefore harvesting, took place in advance than past years, even of thirty days, something particularly happened in many areas of South Italy. Harvesting grapes earlier than usual is however something happened in every region in Italy, from North to South, with an average of twenty days in advance than the previous years.


 

 The quality of grapes in Italian vineyards, according to the estimates of Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori (Italian Confederation of Agriculturists), is very good, also thanks to the favorable conditions happened in springtime. However the arrive of hot weather and the high solar irradiation which took place during summertime, have strongly reduced maturation times therefore forcing viticulturists to begin harvesting in order to keep the good quality of grapes. With these conditions, and while waiting for the usual confirmations which will arrive the next year, vintage 2007 will be therefore remembered for its good quality and for the early harvesting. According to the estimates of Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori, vintage 2007 will be characterized by a lower production than 2006, with a lowering in production of about 10%. In fact, in 2006 were produced in Italy fifty millions of hectoliters of wine, whereas in 2007 it is expected a production of “just” forty-five millions.

 It seems the lowering in production is something also expected in other countries of the world besides Italy. It will be in fact expected lowering in production also in other European countries as well as in the countries of the Southern hemisphere of the world, such as Australia and New Zealand. The lowering of production - according to Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori - could cause a potential raising of prices of wine, a prevision that, of course, we wish not to happen. In the rich speculative scene of the world of wine, also considering the not so good economic conditions of this period, a raising in prices would certainly cause the lowering of the sales for quality wine. This condition would certainly favor the sale of “bulk wines” and of ordinary quality wines that, taking advantage of their lower and more accessible price, will therefore keep their solid position in the market.

 The most interesting news is of course the one concerning the quality of vintage 2007, something that - to tell the truth - we have always heard at the beginning of past years' harvesting. Whether this is something caused by merely speculative and economic reasons, this does not count that much, for the moment we certainly welcome with pleasure this prevision of which we will seek a confirmation - or a denial - when 2007 wines will be finally available and ready to be poured in glasses. Vintage 2007 will be among the most early ones in the last thirty years, earlier than the one of 2003 which, because of the hot weather of that summertime, forced viticulturists to harvest grapes in advance of some weeks. Wines of vintage 2003, although they were of good quality, besides of the high temperatures recorded during that summer, they also suffered from early maturation of grapes and from drought, in particular white berried grapes.

 Things should however go differently in 2007, mainly because in this year there was no drought. Despite winter and part of spring have been characterized by a scarce presence of rains, the providential rainfalls during June have provided vines the supply of water they need. The hot weather of July has therefore allowed the vegetative development of vines, therefore causing an early maturation of grapes. Whether, in general terms, the summer of 2007 has been very torrid and in many regions vineyards have subjected to hot sun rays, it should also be remembered in some areas of Northern Italy, because of a sudden bad weather which took place in July, part of cultures have been severely damaged, including vineyards. In some areas of Italy, besides the heat, it seems there were other problems to bother viticulturists, such as attacks of downy mildew and oidium, in particular in Sicily. For this reason viticulturists had to adopt specific measures, unfortunately not effective in many cases to limit damages.

 As for the exceptionality of torrid temperatures of summer 2007, it should however be considered this phenomenon is taking place since many years, also because of a consequence of the evident and preoccupying changes of worldwide climate conditions. In fact, in the last years the average temperatures were higher than past years, with the result of reducing the vegetative period of vines. For this reason the maturation of grapes is taking place in advance than past years, therefore forcing viticulturists to do early harvesting. Recently, Attilio Scienza - professor of Viticulture at the University of Milan - has said in the last years harvesting tended to be earlier than usual times. According to professor Attilio Scienza, in case this phenomenon will continue, viticulturists will be forced to plant - as well as to create - grape varieties capable of adapt themselves to these climate changes. A scenery which is not good, of course, and that could also cause the extinction or a change of the typical varieties in each territory. Of course this is something no one wishes, while hoping man - a presumptuous being convinced to be omnipotent and with an absolute intelligence - will soon understand the consequences of his deplorable actions, most of the times speculative, fool and harmful. Welcome vintage 2007 with our best wishes for a great success!

 




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  Editorial Issue 55, September 2007   
The Hot Vintage 2007The Hot Vintage 2007  Contents 
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