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Piedmont declares 2019 a ‘classic and traditional’ vintage

Published:  19 November, 2019

Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato has declared 2019 a “classic and traditional” vintage with the quality of Piedmont grapes “impressive”, leading to a double digit drop in yields.

A few weeks after concluding the harvest, many Piedmontese winemakers had already defined this year’s harvest as “exceptional”, said Filippo Mobrici, President of the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato.

“After the unusualness to which the harvests of 2017 and 2018 have accustomed us, I’d describe 2019 as a “classic and traditional" vintage.

“Late, just like the ones we used to have in Piedmont 20-30 years ago. This has been caused by the unstable weather condition that yielded perfectly mature and healthy grapes endowed with excellent quality, though it has also led to a decrease of 15-20% on the total quantity,” he said.

Spring had been cold and rainy, he added, with the temperature decrease and abundant rain having delayed the growth cycle by about 10 days, while having also allowed a harvest with a longer duration compared to the previous years, "enabling us to work well in the vineyard”, he said.

“The heavy rain has required attentive work aimed at preventing possible plant diseases, but it also has been essential to the accumulation of water reserves that would have been precious for the vines during the summer season.

“From June until September, the days have been hot and cloudless, with the exception of a single case of hailstorm in August. The summer weather has been fundamental in ensuring a correct technological and phenological maturation of the grapes."

Harvest in Monferrato began in the first week of September with white grapes such as Moscato and Cortese, followed by the harvest of Brachetto and Grignolino. Between the end of September and the beginning of October, Barbera was harvested – "a variety that has reached an optimal level of maturation and that will give us rich wines, with great structure, proper balance and nice acidity”, said Mobrici.

September had ended with the harvest of Ruchè, while in October Freisa, Albarossa and Nebbiolo - intended for the production of Terre Alfieri DOC, Albugnano DOC and Monferrato Nebbiolo DOC – had been picked.

Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato overlooks more than 432 associated wineries and aims to preserve and promote 13 appellations. It recounted the general performance of the over 11,000ha of the Monferrato wine production area during the 2019 season.