A few weeks after its conclusion, the 2019 harvest has already been defined as “exceptional” by many Piedmontese winemakers.
Filippo Mobrici, agronomist and President of the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato (a Consortium of protection counting more than 432 associated wineries and aiming at preserving and promoting 13 appellations), recounts the general performance of the over 11,000 hectares of the Monferrato wine production area during this season.
“After the unusualness to which the harvests of 2017 and 2018 have accustomed us, I’d describe 2019 as a ‘classic and traditional vintage’. Late, just like the ones we used to have in Piedmont 20-30 years ago. This has been caused by the unstable weather condition that yielded perfectly mature and healthy grapes endowed with excellent quality, though it has also led to a decrease of 15-20% on the total quantity.
“Spring has been cold and rainy. The temperature decrease and abundant rain have delayed the growth cycle of about ten days, but they have allowed a harvest with a longer duration compared to the previous years, enabling us to work well in the vineyard. The heavy rain has required an attentive work aimed at preventing possible plant diseases, but it also has been essential to the accumulation of water reserves that would have been precious for the vines during the summer season. From June until September, the days have been hot and cloudless, with the exception of a single case of hailstorm in August. This summer wather has been fundamental in ensuring a correct technological and phenological maturation of the grapes.”
“Harvest in Monferrato,” he adds, “began in the first week of September with white grapes such as Moscato and Cortese. Then, the harvest of Brachetto and Grignolino has followed. Between the end of September and the beginning of October, Barbera has been harvested: a variety that has reached an optimal level of maturation and that will give us rich wines, with great structure, proper balance and nice acidity. September has ended with the harvest of Ruchè, while in October Freisa, Albarossa and Nebbiolo (intended for the production of Terre Alfieri DOC, Albugnano DOC and Monferrato Nebbiolo DOC) have been picked.
“Finally, we have reached the end of a harvest of great quality. Thanks to a favourable climatic trend and to the constant effort of our winemakers, we can surely expect an outstanding production from this vintage as well”.