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Hailstorms hit Italian vineyards

Published:  23 July, 2008

Weather conditions during the 2005 campaign in Italy have so far been generally positive, but even this year some of the growers in the Langhe are bewailing their fate after having been struck by hail on 20 August.

Particularly affected were parts of Serralunga d'Alba, in particular the famous vineyard of Vigna Rionda, and the northernmost zone of Monforte d'Alba, as well as that part facing Castiglione Falletto. Elio Grasso, a grower at Monforte, reports damage to the Gavarini vineyard, replanted in 1990, from which the grapes are selected to make up his special selection Runcot. The storm did not last long, but at this stage, after all bunch-thinning has been carried out, it will result in a significant shortfall in production.

A couple of weeks earlier, the Rufina zone of Tuscany was hit by a violent hailstorm accompanied by a repeat of the tornado first suffered in 2002 that ripped up vines and tore away branches of trees, causing significant damage. Vineyards in the storm's path have been severely affected.

by Nicolas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani