The 2018 wine harvest began early in Alto Adige, with lower elevations starting to pick as early as August 20. And toward the end of September, most of the grapes were already in the wineries – well matured and in reasonable numbers. With the white wines, Alto Adige’s winegrowers and winemakers are without exception very satisfied. With the red wines, 2018 will be a great year for Cabernet and Merlot, but also for Pinot Noir and Lagrein.
Very Early Harvest
In 2018, the sprouting of the grapevines began somewhat late after a wet winter. But the warm, wet weather that set in during April and May shortly after the sprouting then led to a very early blossoming, which finished in most winegrowing areas by the end of May. An early harvest for the year was already becoming apparent. June 2018 turned out to be unusually warm. The precipitation was below the average over many years. July was also hot and dry with temperatures far above the multiyear averages, as was also the case in August. Toward the end of August, widespread rainfall began. For that reason, the 2018 wine harvest began in Alto Adige’s vineyards as early as August 20, and thus one week earlier than the previous year, above all else at lower elevations. With some varieties, the timing of the harvest had to be moved up somewhat in order to avoid the formation of rot from the warm and moist weather during the first weeks of the harvest. Starting from the middle of September, the weather situation then changed, and with warm days and cool nights, the ideal conditions were created for good maturation and the formation of aromas in the grapes. It was above all else the late-ripening varieties and higher elevations that could take advantage of this.
Surprisingly Good Qualities with Promising Wines
With the white wines, the vintage presents itself with prominent, mature aromas, with powerful structure, balanced acidities, and great potential – especially with the wines from the higher elevations. It is in particular the Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and Sylvaner that stand out in this regard.The 2018 Schiava (Vernatsch) is showing somewhat simpler than in the previous year, but because of that it is genuinely juicy, with an inviting drinking pleasure. Alto Adige’s winegrowers and estate growers are pleased across the board with an excellent vintage for the heavy red wines. The 2018 results are promising fantastic Alto Adige Cabernet, Merlot, and Lagrein with great elegance, power, and body. And the 2018 Pinot Noir is proving itself with lovely color, elegant concentration, and pleasant body.