Montalcino: grape harvest 2022 at Il Paradiso di Frassina, how did it go?
Despite the drought and extreme heat of this year, thanks to the arrival of a little rain from mid-August, the grape harvest in Montalcino and at Il Paradiso di Frassina was excellent. Nature always manages to surprise us.
Before mid-August we were worried about the great heat and water shortage.
The fear was that of having very concentrated grapes with high sugar levels. In that case we would have had to harvest the grapes in order not to get too alcoholic wines, even if the grapes would not have been ready from a polyphenol point of view. The risk would have been that of having more bitter tannins and greater acidity, because the grapes had not yet ripened well.
Then, fortunately, with the rains of mid-August, the grapes literally changed, there was a real turning point, only after a few days we noticed that the plants were still able to assimilate water. In this way the plants rebalanced, swelled, and the previously suffering bunches were better off at that point.
An excellent harvest
What was expected to be a difficult and qualitatively not excellent harvest, turned out to be a truly excellent harvest.
The plants benefited from the rains that followed one another after mid-August and from the significant temperature change between day and night for at least 10 days (16 degrees at night and 30 degrees during the day). The temperature range did a lot of good for the vine.
The alternation between cold and hot means that the ripening improves, and therefore there is a balance between the two types of ripening, namely the phenolic one, and the so-called technical ripening, that is linked to the acidity and the degree of sugars. These two types of ripening never go hand in hand (even if they should in order to harvest at the best possible time), and until before mid-August they were very unbalanced and very distant.
Then they came closer and so we were able to start harvesting the grapes in a situation where the two types of ripeness were close enough and in which the grapes were in a very good condition.
Early harvest: the cycle of the vine was speeded up by the climatic trend
Of course, we started with the harvest in mid-September, and we are at least 10-12 days ahead of schedule, but we shouldn’t be surprised.
The climate has now changed and therefore it is not surprising that the harvests are anticipated, we cannot think of harvesting at the end of September or at the beginning of October as we did ten years ago, because it will no longer be possible. The grape ripening period is shorter, flowering and ripening are anticipated, so the harvest is also anticipated.
This absolutely does not mean bringing worse grapes to the cellar, on the contrary! this year we have very good grapes with a nice color transfer. There is not a large amount of grapes, as we have about 20% less grape production than in a classic vintage.
But the grapes we have are really very good!