As of today's date, we have essentially completed the 2018 harvest at the Group's sites. Although the 2017 wine-growing year was among the poorest in the last fifty years, due to various negative weather events during the year, in 2018 we returned to average values with reference to full production years.
The 2018 wine-growing year has been characterised by a sometimes tropical spring climate, with strong and abundant rainfall alternating with hot and sunny days.
Temperatures in general above the seasonal average have led the shoots to thrive, while low temperatures and continuous leaf wetting during the flowering period have meant a significant flowering reduction, with the consequent development of sparse bunches (the ideal condition healthy bunches thanks to optimum air passage between the grapes).
Despite the frequent rainfall, total precipitation was not above the seasonal average, guaranteeing an extremely healthy crop and at the same time an increase in terms of quantity, up 10% compared to 2017.
The setting aside of the grapes for drying is complete and, thanks to the cool, breezy climate that characterised the second half of September and the first week of October, the conditions are ideal: slow and constant weight loss and very healthy grapes.
The harvesting of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara began on 11 September in the lower hills. The Oseleta, being a late variety, is harvested during October. In terms of quantity, production is expected to increase, by 15% compared to 2017.
In terms of quality, we expect this to be a particularly interesting year for our grapes dried for the production of Amarone wines, from the Costasera to the Mazzano and Campolongo CRUs.
Regarding the Serego Alighieri vineyards, the harvest is complete in Vaio Armaron and the estate's other vineyards. At the end of August, the Sauvignon blanc harvest took place, while the Garganega harvest took place at the beginning of October.
The crops are now fermenting exactly in line with expectations, the vintage is not conditioned by high acidity so we anticipate soft, full-bodied wines, with a high fruity charge.
The harvesting of the Pinot Grigio and Verduzzo grapes for the Masianco began on 16 August. The Refosco grapes for the Rosa dei Masi and the Grandarella and the Refosco and Merlot grapes for the Modello Rosso are in optimum health. Quantities are up by 15% compared to 2017.
Now, during the second week of October, we are at the end of the fermentation of the Pinot Grigio and Refosco for Rosa di Masi.
Also the Merlot for the base of the Modello Rosso Masi is almost fully fermented, with the malolactic fermentation about to commence.
The vintage is characterised by strong fruity notes.
The Refosco grapes are in appassimento for the Grandarella and the Rosa dei Masi, in optimum health, with the weight loss following a beautiful curve.
The harvest began on 20 August with the Pinot Nero grapes for the production of the Conte Federico Spumante, and on 22 August for the Chardonnay grapes. The grapes are in optimum health, with high acidity and good aromatic content. Also after mid-August, the harvesting of the Pinot Grigio began for the Pian del Griso, mature fruit, aromatic and rich in acidity; the harvesting of the Traminer and the Chardonnay for the Vign’Asmara followed, again in excellent health. The Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Teroldego del Fojaneghe grapes are again in optimum health. The harvest was completed with the picking of the Marzemino and a portion of the Teroldego for Mas'est. The white grapes have finished fermentation, while the fermentation of the fresh red grapes is well underway. We will shortly be preparing to press and ferment the dried Teroldego and Marzemino as a base for their respective Mas'ests.
Canova and other Masi Bardolino Classico vineyards
The Corvina and Rondinella grapes are in excellent health. The harvest was completed during the first ten days of October, with a 15% increase in yield compared to 2017. Now the fermentation is in progress. We are satisfied with the qualitative potential of our vineyard in this beautiful area strongly influenced by Lake Garda and its surrounding mountains.
The Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave for the Levarìe are in excellent condition, and were harvested by the first week of October. Average quantities are expected. We will then pick the additional grapes suitable for Colbaraca Soave Classico Superiore with an almost delayed harvest, golden bunches, full of vitality that will give a powerful elegant white ready to be refined in noble new oak.
Valdobbiadene, historic Prosecco Superiore region
The harvest began with the Chardonnay on 22 August, continued with the Glera grapes, and was completed at the end of September. Quantities are up by 10% compared to 2017. The grapes are in perfect health. The Valdobbiadene Campofalco BIO and Faé CRUs are very interesting for their freshness and aroma. We are anticipating a surprise for the Marzemino spumante obtained from the grapes in the estate's vineyards within the DOCG Valdobbiadene. The bases for the Canevel Extra Dry and Brut are ideal.
The harvesting of the Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Ciliegiolo began on 3 September. The difficult climate throughout the 2018 wine year has influenced the quantity but not the quality of the organic wine-growing in the Serego Alighieri-Masi "Poderi del Bello Ovile" in Cinigiano, Val D'Orcia. The quantitative yield of Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and Sangiovese has been rather low due to an attack of peronospora that contributed to a decrease in flowers, and consequently a smaller quantity of fruit, but the fruit which was harvested was in good health and analytically in good quality. Fermentation is proceeding well.