THE 2017 VINTAGE: we can now draw some conclusions with regard to the year for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.
The 2017 vintage is now finished, having challenged the vine-growers right up until the end and forcing them to face a harvest which, this year, was certainly not lacking in difficulties.
Conegliano Valdobbiadene, a region that is traditionally ideal for cultivating Glera grapes, has succeed in tackling a complex vintage with determination and competence. Quality had been forecast as excellent at the pre-harvest tastings of the grapes: the berries gave a positive impression with regard to their sweetness and fruity nuances. In spite of the fact that the weather during September caused considerable concern to growers who, with their habitual dedication, carried out incessant monitoring and continuous evaluation of conditions in the vineyard, the resulting quality of the final product is decidedly interesting. In fact, the rains during the summer provided just the right balance of sugars in the grapes and, thanks to the tenacious and precise efforts of the growers and the Consortium’s technicians alike, the harvest concluded with satisfaction for everyone involved.
In the weeks immediately preceding the harvest, our technicians periodically monitored the progress of the ripening of the grapes by measuring their acidity and sugar levels, so as to identify – in spite of the abrupt changes in the weather – the optimum time to harvest in each individual sub-zone of the Denomination: a job that called for a great deal of organisation and effort, and which expressed the widespread skills and winemaking culture that are to be found in the region.
The difficulties that presented themselves this year led to quantities of grapes that were down by 7-10% compared to 2016, corresponding to around 650 thousand hectolitres. This result may be considered substantially positive, though, given the weather conditions and when compared to other areas of Italy that – unfortunately – suffered a worse fate. This reduction in grape yields is consequently giving rise to an increase in the price of both the fruit and wine, which for Glera will be up by an average of between 10 and 15% compared to 2016.
“We will definitely remember 2017 as a vintage that put us to the test, but did not in any way frighten us” states Innocente Nardi, President of the Consorzio di Tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco D.O.C.G.. “In spite of this being a year that has been more complex than usual, we have succeeded in obtaining excellent quality, assisted partly by the summer rains which, up until the end of August, helped bring the grapes to an ideal condition for the harvest. The month of September was not easy, but we showed great tenacity and ability in managing our vineyards and we are proud of the results we have achieved”.
“The Conegliano Valdobbiadene area, with its very steep slopes that are very hard to access with machinery, constrains the vine-growers to perform many hours’ hard work amidst the vines of the “rive”, the most precipitous sites with gradients of up to 70%, in order to carry out the exclusively manual harvesting of the bunches of Glera grapes. The “heroic harvest”, which represents the time of the greatest ingenuity and passion for the zone’s vine-growers, constituted more than ever the culmination and crowning moment of the labour of an entire year”.