An Exciting Year for Both Reds and Whites
The capricious summer of 2016 posed a good many challenges to Alto Adige winegrowers: aside from a few hot summer days, there were numerous wet days with above-average rainfall. This required a great deal of attention and diligence in the vineyard. The growers had to exercise great care. What was necessary was a very precise observation of the vines as well as targeted measures, such as cluster division. All of that meant hard work and a particularly large amount of effort in the vineyards.
Ideal Autumn Weather Before and During the Harvest
The lovely, dry weeks that started at the end of August and continued through September into early autumn with warm days and cool nights brought tranquility back to the vineyards and provided all of the preconditions for a targeted and high-quality harvest. In addition, the cooler temperatures at the beginning of maturity slowed down the maturation process of the grapes. For that reason, the 2016 harvest began around ten days later than in 2015. The first white wine grapes were harvested in the Bassa Atesina and around Terlano starting from September 5. The extensive crush then began in the middle of September. It was completed in most areas by mid-October.
The quality of the grapes as they arrived at the wineries was perfect. The sugar and acidity levels were looking good, the pH values were low – the perfect foundation for juicy, lively, and multilayered white wines and for promising red wines with a good potential for developing.
White Wines True to Their Varieties, Well-Structured Red Wines
After the great year of 2015, Alto Adige’s wine industry is pleased about a just as fine and exciting 2016 vintage. The white wines of this vintage present themselves with classic aromas that are very characteristic of the varieties, fruity and juicy, sleek, and elegant – above all else with Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer. With the reds, on the other hand, the Schiava (Vernatsch) along with the Santa Maddalena and Lago di Caldaro that are made from it, with intensely colored, fruity-juicy wines, are for Alto Adige’s winemakers some of the best of the past decade. And presenting themselves as powerful and structured with finesse and elegance are not only the Lagrein, but also the Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet.
With few exceptions, the harvest quantities are once again within the average over many years.