As the summer months roll on, our minds turn to a huge event in the wine world…harvest! We have some incredibly exciting news to share from our wonderful client, Franciacorta. As of today, harvest operations are starting up across the Franciacorta area, beginning with the South-facing vineyards on the slopes of Mount Orfano, where Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco grapes are traditionally picked earlier than in the central valleys, owing to the mountain’s special microclimate.
“The 2020 harvest seems to reach the best balance of the past decade. Both spring and summer were characterized by temperate climate, with no excesses, and reasonable rainfall. The few particularly violent storms caused moderate damage in terms of volumes in a limited number of Franciacorta subregions, but the dry, windy July weather prevented their harsh consequences on quality.” – says Francesco Franzini, VP of Consorzio Franciacorta entrusted with Technical Affairs. “The grapes are perfectly healthy and so are the ripening conditions, after a few warm days, but essentially with an ideal climate and an excellent day-night temperature differential.”
This year budbreak occurred during the first ten days of April and unfolded normally, favored by the month’s dry and sunny weather. The same kind of weather accompanied the early stages in the vine cycle, thus favoring constant and even growth.
In May, the weather conditions remained essentially unchanged, with rather mild temperatures and scant rainfall. From a precipitation perspective, the scarcity of rainwater undoubtedly made crop protection easier and helped prevent pest attacks (especially from downy mildew), which at this stage of development can cause (occasionally significant) yield losses.
Most of June was cooler than the rest of the last five years, as a result of the frequent storms, which resulted in lower temperatures. Bud fertility turned out to be satisfactory, while flowering and fruit set happened as expected.
The excellent health of the bunches will presumably lead to a fruit load of 10 to 12 tons per hectare and excellent potential quality. This is why a request was submitted to set aside part of the year’s production.
The harvesting operations are taking place a little bit earlier than last year; other than Mount Orfano, the rest of Franciacorta will probably carry out most of the grape picking the last decade of August. The weather pattern for the coming weeks will be key in defining the quality of Franciacorta base wines of vintage year 2020. Though still too soon to draw any conclusions, everything seems to indicate excellent quality and good volumes.
We’re looking forward to what delights the 2020 vintage has in store for us.