Grape Harvest in Panzano in Chianti – 2017
Nearly done – the grape harvest! Even if the weather has not been perfect at all, the great ability of nature to adapt is always astonishing! A late frost in April damaged the flowering plants in lower and cooler locations, e.g. close to creeks, then from May to September we suffered an extremely dry summer without any rain and unusual high temperatures. All these “ingredients” did stress our vineyards (and the wine makers, too…) but again, the forecast promises well. It is said that due to the lack of water the production 2017 dropped between 20% and 50%, anyhow, the 2017 Chianti Classico will be a memorable vintage.
As usual it is a busy time, a difficult balance between perfect timing in harvesting the grapes and right decision to make: which variety of grapes will be picked up when? First the white grapes, of course, followed by Merlot, while the local red Sangiovese variety needs some more time. Each wine maker has his / her own strategy and is assisted by the winery´s oenologist: the idoneous moment depends mostly of the orientation of the vines, their altitude, the soil, continuous analysis, ancient knowledge…and a bit of luck ?
There is kind of a non-spoken rule that till the grapes won´t be safely in the cellars, no one will dare to pronounce themselves about the result of a full hard working year. A violent rain fall or a sudden hail storm can distroy the production in just a few minutes. So: fingers crossed as long as the harvesters are out in the fields.
On the occasion of the Panzano wine festival Vino al Vino 2017 during a fascinating tasting, the Chianti Classicos of Panzano confirmed their longevity: 14 wineries opened their 1997 and 2007 productions. A true experience.
The “Retrospective 1997 and 2007 – Panzano throughout the time” mirrored the high quality of the mostly organic and sustainable production. This collective experience now boasts 450 hectars of organically farmed vineyard and has given life to the first “organic vine-growing / winemaker zone” in Europe (biodistretto vitivinicolo). The morphology of the soil, the sustainability of the land and the commitment of each vintner have resulted in Panzano being recognized as one of the top terroir of Italy. More details: www.viticoltoripanzano.com
Time will tell about the this year´s grapes once the vinification is concluded and the wines are aging in the bottles or the barrels.