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03.09.2020

Kickoff to the Wine Harvest in Alto Adige

New Vintage with Great Potential, Reduced Harvest Quantities, and First Prognoses

The wine harvest in Alto Adige officially got rolling on August 26 with the varieties at the lower elevations in Oltradige and the Bassa Atesina. Just as in every year, the white wine varieties of Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay started things off, followed by Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer. The main harvest will begin in Alto Adige with the first days of September. This will be followed by the red wine varieties, beginning with Pinot Noir and Schiava (Vernatsch). The varieties Merlot, Lagrein, and Cabernet will bring the harvest to a close.

The calm weather conditions up to just a few days ago and the relatively early blossoming with abundant rainfall above all else at the higher elevations laid the foundation for a promising 2020 vintage. The results: an above-average crop and large bunches with loose berries. But even though the weather thus far has had a positive effect upon the quality of the grapes, not everything is all wrapped up yet: what is decisive in particular is above all else the last weeks and days before the harvest. Good ventilation and a quick drying of the grapes are important. Alto Adige’s winegrowers are now hoping for warm, sunny days and cool nights so that the aromas can develop well.

As a result of the current covid-19 crisis, this year the Consortium of Alto Adige Wine decided by a large majority upon a reduction in harvest quantities. This varied between 8% and 28% according to grape variety. The winegrowers accomplished this by means of thinning whole bunches and also by dividing the bunches, that is, cutting off part of the bunch by hand.

According to the first prognoses, we can look forward to a promising new vintage. Hans Terzer, winemaker of the San Michele Appiano Winery, is pleased about the fresh Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc wines that are filled with character. He sees great potential above all else in the loose-berried bunches from the higher elevations. In Oltradige, he is counting on high-quality Pinot Noirs. Stephan Filippi, winemaker of the Bolzano Winery, shares Terzer’s outlook. He says that the ideal conditions exist this year for an outstanding harvest. What he finds to be especially exciting is the potential for the indigenous varieties of Lagrein und Schiava. For the Lagrein in the Bolzano area, he foresees ideal conditions, and for the Schiava, even a perfect situation. With the white wines at higher elevations, there have rarely been such good basic conditions shortly before the harvest as this year. The grapes are clear, and they have rarely been so flavorful.

We are now hoping for ideal autumn weather and are looking forward to the top-quality wines of the 2020 vintage!
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