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Allegrini 2018
WINE AND TERRITORIES

For the Pinot Grigio delle Venezie it is time to balance: “less quantity, but excellent quality”

The harvesting phase of the grapes has been completed. The president of Consorzio Albino Armani: “an important growth in prices and bottling”

For some Italian wine denominations the harvest has come to an end and therefore it is already time to make an initial assessment of the production. So it is for Pinot Grigio delle Venezie that in the balance weighs less in quantity in the vineyard (between -15 and -20%) but excellent quality of grapes throughout the area, growing price lists (+20%) along with bottling that, in the period January-August 2020, mark an increase (+6.35%) on 2019. In the year of Covid-19, the fourth production season of Pinot Grigio delle Venezie Doc thus closes with a positive balance, an even more significant result if we consider the difficult context marked by the pandemic. Now finished in almost all the claimed areas of Veneto, the harvest will continue for a few more days in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino. The 2020 production campaign, at first analysis, is presented as less abundant, but, from the point of view of quality and health of the grapes, in line, if not higher, than 2019.
Despite the strong bad weather that has affected Veneto in recent weeks, even if marginal in the production areas of the DOC delle Venezie, the grapes have on average an excellent health, something not at all taken for granted for a variety like Pinot Grigio, with balanced chemical parameters, good acidity and without excessive gradation. The Consorzio Doc delle Venezie stressed that ”there are all the prerequisites to find excellent wines in the glass, with great potential already evident after the first fermentations at the beginning of September. And the credit goes above all to the winemakers of the Northeast, who demonstrate, year after year, great competence and above all awareness in the management of this particularly delicate grape, sensitive to mold and humidity conditions and therefore in need of special care”. The quality factor of the 2020 harvest was also remarked by Alberto Marchisio, general manager of Cantine Vitevis and president of Assoenologi Veneto Occidentale: “we had a fairly good season in terms of rainfall and temperatures, which delivered to the cellar a number of grapes certainly a little reduced compared to last year but in return for high quality, very balanced and with a good freshness”. In terms of quantity, we speak of 5% below the specification, which is less than 130 tons of grapes per hectare in compliance with the management measures of June 2020, the comparison on the 2019 campaign marks a reduction of 15%.
A significant decrease in supply, therefore, which in fact led to an increase in the price of grapes. “We are witnessing in these days - is the comment of the President of the Consorzio delle Venezie Doc, Albino Armani - a substantial increase in prices on grapes that reaches on average +20% on 2019. An improvement due in part to the lack of production, but above all linked to the extraordinary measures decided in June - redefinition of yields and administrative storage - demonstrating that the management of production potential made by the Consorzio delle Venezie is starting to give important results”. For Pinot Grigio, according to Armani, it was “a vintage that certainly went against the trend in terms of prices. Faced with substantial stability at the national level, our DOC instead registers an important growth not only in prices, but also in bottling: in the period January-August 2020 we bottled an average of 151,490 hectoliters per month, equal to an average monthly growth of 3% on 2019”. The supply chain in Trentino is particularly satisfied, still busy for a few days in the Pinot Grigio vineyards. ”The health status of the grapes is excellent”, said Goffredo Pasolli, oenologist at the Gaierhof winery in Roverè della Luna and president of Assoenologi Trentino, “despite the heavy rains in recent weeks, we were able to intervene with careful management of the harvesting schedule, anticipating possible areas at risk, such as the southern part of Trentino. Now we are in the northern part of the harvest, which will last until about mid-September. We are very satisfied with the quality profile of the Pinot Grigio, a little less than the quantity because, according to summer forecasts, there is actually a lack of production, between 15 and 20%, despite the rains of the last few days have helped to inflate the bunch a little bit”.
Even in the vineyards of Friuli Venezia Giulia, which in some areas has recorded a seasonal trend a little more fluctuating, the maturation of Pinot Grigio is quite uniform. “The right amount of rain has fallen and the sun has never been excessive - explains Rodolfo Rizzi, director of Cantina di Ramuscello e San Vito and president of Assoenologi Friuli Venezia Giulia - even in our region, the good climatic trend has allowed the Pinot Grigio to ripen perfectly, recording both good health of the bunch and an increase in quality compared to 2019. The sugar/acid ratio is also excellent, with a grape that is not excessively sugary, compared to other years, but with a very interesting acidity. The first wines coming out of fermentation are very corresponding, varietal and rich in freshness and we are fully satisfied with this. On the volumes, apart from a few days of heavy rains, fortunately we were not affected by major disasters that could compromise the quantitative aspect of the grapes; there is a very slight decrease compared to last year due to the spring drought that affected some areas of the region, but certainly not the one feared at the beginning of the season”. According to Andrea Paladin, voice of Coldiretti Veneto in the board of directors of the Consorzio delle Venezie, this is a good year: “in terms of quantity, there are no great yields, it is evident, but the quality is very good and the market starts to respond positively. It's still early to say, but I think there are good assumptions. It is a very delicate phase for buying and selling, in which sellers have important expectations due to the decrease in supply, while most buyers are tied to contracts especially with large retailers. But by virtue of this production campaign, not abundant but certainly of high quality, we have favorable prospects on the market, despite the fact that it continues to be a difficult and above all uncertain economic moment worldwide”.

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