Allegrini 2018

Franciacorta is the first major Italian wine territory to kick off the 2022 grape harvest

Harvesting Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco grapes has started. The Franciacorta Consortium said, “early, but a very interesting harvest”

The first, sporadic bunches of grapes have already been harvested in Sicily. However, the first major Italian wine territory, Franciacorta, the land of the Italian classic method sparkling wine, has just begun its 2022 grape harvest. “Franciacorta has kicked off its grape harvest on August 1st. In some areas, for instance, south of Monte Orfano, a few bunches of grapes were harvested over the weekend, but now we have begun harvesting Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco also in the rest of the appellation, and we will continue over the next few weeks, depending on the area”, explained a note from the Consortium, led by Silvano Brescianini. “2022 is a definitely unique year. It began with deal conditions, an excellent production load and state of health, but the hot and dry weather trend, especially in the months of June and July, is putting vineyards and winemakers to the test”, Flavio Serina, manager of the Research and Development Area of the Franciacorta Consortium, said, and added, “the rainfall during the last week in July has mitigated the water stress situation, creating conditions for a notably early harvest, which still has very interesting characteristics”. The Consortium explained that this year germination took place in line with the past few years. In the earliest harvesting areas, germination of Chardonnay began around the end of March, and in the later ones towards the first ten days of April. The situation was more or less the same for Pinot Noir. Flowering was definitely early by about a week, compared to the past 3 years. There were two hailstorms in late May and early June that caused substantial, but only localized damage, and so did not compromise the production potential of the appellation. Moreover, the unusual timing of the event did not create further phytosanitary problems. The state of health is in fact, excellent. From a meteorological point of view, the year was characterized by scarce rainfall. “The total rainfall for the first six months of this year was 189 millimeters, less than half the average over the past five years: 418 millimeters. Additionally, the average temperature in July was significantly higher than the average over the past four years”. The persisting situation of no rainfall, together with high temperatures has caused water stress conditions in various areas characterized by looser soils, or in younger vineyards. On the whole, vineyards reacted well to this exceptional situation. However, last week’s rainfalls certainly gave a breath of fresh air to the central area of Franciacorta. “The last two months have been characterized by relentless heat and almost no rainfall whatsoever”, Mario Falcetti, on the board of the Franciacorta Consortium ( technical committee), explained, “the combination of these two factors has led to predictions of various stressful situations, which improved, luckily, thanks to last week’s rainfalls”. Production estimates were considered excellent up to the month of May, and now have been revised due to the rainfall situation over the past two months. The estimates can still be considered good, and more precise estimates will be forthcoming at the end of the harvest. “Franciacorta enjoyed a very positive 2021, and for the first time we passed the twenty-million bottles mark. Plus, the first half of 2022 reports an estimated growth in volumes for all the companies equal to 14.3% compared to the first six months of 2021 , but unfortunately, we have not had generous vintages and several wineries are forced to postpone orders due to lack of product. We need a good harvest and we hope that the weather in the next few weeks will be favorable”, the president Silvano Brescianini, concluded.

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