— Conegliano Valdobbiadene

Excellent results for the 2016 vintage of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.

Dry weather and cool summer nights, combined with careful monitoring by the Consortium’s technicians and vine-growers, have led to outstanding results.

The 2016 vintage in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene hills has finished, confirming all the enthusiastic forecasts.

In fact, the favourable prospects for the year had been predicted during the monitoring and analyses of the ripening phases of the grapes and made known by the board of the Consortium even before the first bunches were harvested. The excellent quality of the 2016 vintage is due to the cool night-time temperatures registered in the hills as early as the end of July, along with dry, well-ventilated weather conditions. These two aspects of the climate are essential for obtaining a sparkling wine, which calls for healthy grapes with quite high acidity and good levels of aromatic compounds, in particular terpene-based ones, which give floral fragrances. These quality factors were confirmed by the analyses carried out on the grapes by the Consortium’s technicians and by the overall climate of the vineyard year that has just ended. In fact, taking as a reference the Winkler Scale, which takes into consideration the daily summation of temperatures above 10°C during the vegetative cycle of the vines – in this case between April and August – one can see that the figure for 2016 amounts to 1452°C. If one compares this figure with recent years, it is pretty close to the values registered in 2010 and 2008: “cool”, rainy years, in which respectively 1480°C and 1350°C were reached. This confirms that this latest vintage favoured good acid balance in the grapes, in particular with regard to malic acid, which contributes freshness, grip and longevity to the sparkling wines produced in the “micro-areas” of the D.O.C.G.. Indeed, one can say that 2016 is a perfect year for the Rive and for Cartizze, wines in which the typical characteristics of the individual vineyards will really come to the fore.

The success of this year is also due to the constant and meticulous work of the vine-growers in the hills and of the Consortium’s technicians, who periodically checked the progress of the ripening of the grapes in order to measure their acidity and sugar levels, so as to identify the optimum moment for harvesting on each individual hillside within the boundaries of the Denomination.

With these premises in mind, the “heroic” harvest of the vineyards of the D.O.C.G. began on 15th September and ended, for the Denomination as a whole, some twenty days later. In the hills that produce Prosecco Superiore, this was the latest harvest since the beginning of the new millennium:  a not insignificant detail for the quality of the grapes that were picked, given that from 16th September onwards there was a drop in temperatures – particularly during the night – which allowed the grapes to maintain a good level of acidity and freshness. The analyses of the grapes – which were monitored every week – confirmed ideal values for obtaining rich aromas and a vibrant freshness on both the nose and palate. These meteorological conditions allowed the producers to verify the high quality of the vintage, given that there were no interruptions during picking, thus enabling each individual vine-grower to manage his or her harvest, selecting the best lots of grapes and thus generating excellent cuvées. The profile of the wines – currently undergoing maturation in tank – is one of rich fruit both on the nose and in the mouth, with particularly lively floral notes and hints of green apples that also confer crispness on the palate, the unmistakable sign of a sparkling wine that has the potential to develop excellent fruit balanced by fresh, uplifting acidity.