Bad weather has hit Italy over the past few days, including Montalcino. In this photo, you can see that nearby Mount Amiata got hit heavily with snow.
Here in S. Angelo, however, the weather was not so bad; we had rain and just a little bit of snow. This photo shows the snow that fell Monday night between S.Angelo and Montalcino.
Luckily the temperatures have descended below 0 here, which is very important because in 2014 Montalcino had insect problems due to the mild winter and the rainy summer, causing damage to the harvest. It does mean we will have to bundle, though. This time of year we work in the field, pruning vines and olive trees to make sure that we are ready for spring.
We are planning to increase the number of hectares planted to Sangiovese so as to have them ready when we will initiate the extirpation of certain vines that are already old, planted in the areas less suitable and which therefore will be substituted in a few years.
When you think about a new planting, you begin with identifying the best soil. Now, since we have seen the climatic change in action, ithe altitude of the vineyard is also important and we, who are to the south of Montalcino, a zone that is notoriously warmer and ventilated, have planted new vines at altitudes of 350-400 meters in the last fifteen years (see the foto of our village Sant'Angelo in Cole as seen from our farm house agriturismo). Then, the choice of the graft (American rootstock resistant to phylloxera) was chosen on the bases of the type of soil (of which we do chemical analysis). Afterwards, we have identified the most suitable clone of Sangiovese.
Friday night and Sunday it rained a lot around Sant'Angelo, including Montalcino.
On our estate, it only rained a little bit, just 3 millimeters to be exact.
Yesterday, we have therefore begun the harvest again. And after the weeken of rest, we are now in our final rush. We will finish picking the grapes in the highest vineyards and then the harvest of this year will be finished.
Also the grapes that we are picking are excellent (see photo above). And as you can see, they have not suffered the drought at all.
The first wines obtained from the Sangiovese grapes are excellent. It is a very difficult vintage with a drop of production that will surely reach 20% at our estate. But qualitatively, it is excellent.