Hot and drought but Italy is the first in the world
The grape harvest 2017 has started and it always led our memories back to moments of happiness and conviviality all together with family and friends. We will see the results in few months, when the main phases of the production of wine will be concluded. In the meantime Unione Italiana Vini (in English, Italian Wine Union) and Osservatorio del Vino (in English, Wine Observatory) presented the first data and some predictions of the grape harvest 2017.
The first assumption is that the quick climate changes of this year, not only in Italy but at a national level, are affecting hundreds-year old wine practices.
The predictions of Osservatorio del Vino evaluates that the harvest in Italy will give more than 40 million of hectoliters, 13 millions of hectares less than the last year (53 millions of hectoliters). Despite the decrease of the 26%, Italy maintains its first position before Spain (around 38 mln) and France (around 37 mln).
The predictions and data of the grape harvest 2017
The area of Prosecco moved up the grape harvest of a dozen of days, loosing, according to Osservatorio del Vino, around the 17% of the grapes. The situation of Friuli Venezia Giulia is after all not that bad, around the 11% less than 2016. The worst situations, according to the observatory, are Valle d’Aosta (-32,5%), Tuscany (-32,5%), Umbria (-35%), Sicily and Sardinia (-35%).
However, the harvest should give high quality grapes, pretty sweet and with fruity notes that we will find in the glass while tasting. It occurred thanks to the lack of rain that allow a higher sugary concentration in the grapes.
Weather conditions of 2017
This 2017 has been an odd year characterized by a mild and dry winter, sudden frost in spring, followed then by high temperature and no summer rains. On one side these conditions moved the grape harvest up of two-three weeks (in particular Sicily and Sardinia) “loosing” the early grapes, on the other side the warm and dry weather allowed the creation of healthier grapes recording a reduction of the typical illness of the vine like downy mildew and powdery mildew, with a following decreasing of phytosanitary treatments.
Grape harvest 2017, which consequences on the final price?
An increasing of the production costs for emergency irrigation and a lower quantity of bottles that will arrive on the shelves, they will lead to an increasing of prices. In the worst case it will stop the consumption of a year that had started very well with in increasing in the sales in the first seven months of 2017, around +3%.
In 2016 the selling of wine reached the 12,8 billions of euros, the 9,7% of the total sales volume of the food and wine sector in Italy.
However, we are sure that also this year the Italian wine sector will triumph at an international level solving all the climatic troubles that this year caused. After all, Italian wines are always the most loved wines in the world.