Italian Wine News


ISMEA / UIV 2008 Italian Wine Production Forecast:
Third of six parts

Staff Writer – September 9, 2008

Regional Production (Continued)

While grape production in the Northwestern regions is consistently lower compared to that of 2007, the Northeastern regions production is similar to that of the previous year, though there are differences between the single regions.

Veneto will either barely match last year's production, or register a 5% decrease.The early ripening grape variety, which is about ready to be harvested, in fact marks a lower output. The growing season was characterized by difficult climate, abundant rain, and localized hail storms, especially in the Bardolino zone and the upper Valpolicella hills. Though ripening is late compared to last year, it is within the average. The high level of humidity brought more peronospora, oidio and botrytis occurrences than normal and only knowledgeable and prompt vintners' intervention allowed them to minimize the damage and produce good quality grapes.

Italia, regiuoni nord est

In Friuli Venezia Giulia production will decrease from 5% to 10%, and fruit ripening is about 10 days behind schedule. The problems in the region started early, with non homogenized blooming, because of the low spring temperature end excessive rainfall, followed by hail storms and bora wind in August. The bunches are few, sparse, and smaller than usual, though the return of good weather is improving the results in the last stretch toward maturation, providing satisfying sugar content. In addition, the current thermal balance between night and day helps build aroma. Peronospora and botrytis forced vintners to intervene with stronger action compared to last year.

Trentino Alto Adige output is expected to equal that of 2007. In the province of Trento the growth process is two weeks behind last year, but within the long term norm. The climate has been less than good, with long rainy periods and high humidity which developed primary and secondary peronospora infections to the bunches in addition to leaves, especially for Chardonnay and Merlot vines. In addition, sporadic, violent storms, sometimes with hail, took place locally. The good weather in the last few weeks has contributed to good ripening, protecting the quality and health of the bunches. The white varieties used to make sparkling wines show good sugar content and satisfying natural acidity. positive the quality evaluation of the white varieties made into dry wines, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Müller Thurgau, whose harvests start around mid September. The red grape varieties are headed toward good quality, though it will all depend on the weather in the next few weeks, as the Marzemino, Teroldego and Lagrein varieties will be harvested in the second half of September, while Merlot and Cabernet will be picked during the first 10 days of October.

In the province of Bolzano the ripening process is behind that of 2007, but last year the harvest was extremely early compared to the norm. The quality, at this point appears to be mediocre because of the unfavorable weather conditions. Peronospora attacks have been more than usual, but were faced off by a well integrated defense.

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