Allegrini 2018

The drought is worrying also in the vineyard: the warning from the Consortium of Barbera d’Asti

Barbera d’Asti, panoramic vineyards in summer
Barbera d'Asti, panoramiche vigneti d'estate - Consorzio Barbera d'Asti e Vini del Monferrato

The drought that is affecting Italy and Europe, with territories where it hasn’t rained for almost 4 months, worries everyone. And if the agricultural organization, in these days, have released alarming hypotheses, with drops in production of cereals, fruit and vegetables assumed in a range between -30% and -70%, depending on crops and areas, the worries in the world of wine, expecting the harvest, becomes clear with the voice of one of the most important territories in Italy that of the Consortium of Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato, led by Filippo Mobrici. “If the current situation of lack of rain were to persist for a long time, we would risk compromising a harvest that promises to be of great quality. There are already signs of plant suffering and this certainly does not reassure the producers. But, obviously, the situation also from the meteorological point of view will have to be constantly monitored with great attention”, explains Mobrici himself.
Monitoring that the Consortium, which brings together over 400 winemakers, has already implemented, in line with its role of protecting the territory, one of the largest in Italy at the Consortium level, representative of a third of all Piedmont production (12,000 hectares, 13 denominations, 167 Municipalities). The technicians employed by the institution, in fact, have already drawn up a diagram of the climatic trend by comparing the current year with the two previous ones. “The current season – explain the experts of the Consortium – is characterized by severe drought and hot. In spring, the cultivation of the vine benefited from higher temperatures than normal: in fact, flowering was very early”. But all this went further when the rains continued to be scarce and the temperatures rose too much for this period of the year, “as in the 2015 and 2017 vintages”. The technical study worked, in particular, on a specific focus: “from germinating to flowering (on average 40 days), the days in which the temperatures exceeded the limits were more than 15”, a true record that created the current reality: “the soils are particularly dry and the 2022 campaign promises to be the driest ever. Up to now, about millimeters of water has fallen on average, compared to previous years which had accumulations between 400 and 500 millimeters”. In other words, there is currently between 50% and 70% of precipitation missing. “The vegetation – explains the Consortium – continues to be weak and in some vineyards, especially those facing south and high hills, there are signs of suffering from the vines due to drought and dehydration”. But the drought is also starting to greatly worry the Veneto, another locomotive region of Italian wine, as emerged today in the first focus of the Vento Wine Triptych 2022, by the Veneto Region, Veneto Agriculture, Arpav and Uvive. “On the eve of summer, the Veneto vineyard is generally healthy, but the prolonged drought is creating serious worries, not only for the non-irrigated vineyards. As for other crops, the absence of adequate rainfall also for vines (in May -46% of the average; April -33%; March -81%; February -52%; January -53%) risks becoming a serious problem, as the high day and night temperature that has been recorded for weeks now. Another factor that winemakers must keep well monitored is that of flavescence doréè, against which the Veneto Region has equipped itself by activating the structures in charge of controls that periodically prepare information bulletins and ensure phytosanitary contact details, as well as setting up a technical-scientific table to identify the most effective actions to combat its diffusion”.

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