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Northeasten Italian Harvest Starts Early

Craig Camp

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(AGI) - Venice, Aug 14 - The grape harvest in the North East has begun much earlier than usual. The extremely high temperatures well over the seasonal average and the long drought have obliged growers to begin the harvest already, in particular the harvest of soft-skinned varieties such as Pinot and Chardonnay. From a quantity viewpoint, there is likely to be an average drop in production estimated at around 10 percent compared to last year's harvest (already down by a good 20 percent compared to 2001), however the quality of the grapes is judged to be excellent, even though a lot depends on the weather over the next few days. A meeting has been organised by Veneto Agricoltura - Carrefour del Veneto, in collaboration with Avepa and the Regional Councils of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige, to be held on August 25 beginning at three pm at the Corte Bendettina in Legnaro (PD). The initial figures regarding the grape harvest in the North East will be presented at that meeting. The main problem this year has been the drought. In vineyards not equipped with irrigation plants, the grapes have recently begun to show signs of suffering, with well-formed bunches but the grapes themselves very small. In vineyards with irrigation, both quality and quantity are excellent, however production will be down compared to recent years. Weather conditions this year have had a positive effect on the health of the vines. Almost everywhere there has been a massive reduction in the development of major pathogenic fungi such as peronospora, oidio and botrite. Thanks to the high level of sunshine and the lack of water, the grape gradation is good everywhere with low acidity and a high PH level. Provided there are no major changes in the next few weeks, the grapes should reach the wine cellars in perfect condition and this year's wine should be very alcoholic, well structured, although not excessively perfumed (the whites) and full-bodied, well-coloured and suitable for aging (the reds). The first production estimates divided according to province and type of grape will be released at the Legnaro meeting and there too the Anti-Fraud Commission in Conegliano will update wine growers and producers on relative legislation and the Veneto Agricoltura will illustrate a project underway in certain Veneto DOC areas as well as their research and experimental wine growing activities. (AGI)

141713 AGO 03

COPYRIGHTS 2002-2003 AGI S.p.A.

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Thanks to the high level of sunshine and the lack of water, the grape gradation is good everywhere with low acidity and a high PH level.

Does this mean that the resulting wines will be low in acid or does the final acid layer in a wine come from some other process?

Edited by docsconz (log)

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The "quality" of a vintage cannot be judged until the wines are vinified and in the processs of maturation in tank, barrel or botttle.

Every harvest season we read reports of agony or ecstacy, all of which mean higher prices according to vintners.

In the agony years, prices will rise, we're told, because crop levels are low for one reason or another.

In ecstacy vintages, prices will rise, we're told, because the quality is such that it warrants a premium price.


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