Hail hits the Valpolicella

Hail hits the Valpolicella. The President of the Consorzio di Tutela Valpolicella reassures, only 4% of the vineyards have been affected.

26th August 2013 - Last night, with only a couple of weeks to go to the start of the harvest, hail hit the Valpolicella. Hailstones slightly smaller than the size of grapes struck areas of San Floriano, Pedemonte, the lower reaches of Negrar and Montecchio. Here the damage was significant, not only in terms of the amount of grapes that were affected but also in terms of how they were damaged. It is possible that in these vineyards, there will be fewer grapes selected for the drying process with a subsequent decrease in the production of Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella. Nevertheless, Christian Marchesini, President of the Consorzio di Tutela Vini Valpolicella, diffuses concerns. The area affected represents approximately 4% of the Valpolicella vineyards and so we can confirm that the harvest overall doesn’t risk being damaged by this weather spell. We are expecting that the initial assessments will be confirmed by the technical examinations carried in the past hours out by the appointed authorities and which will continue over the next few days. What will really matters”, he concludes, “is the weather over the following days running up to the start of the harvest.

The storm that hit the area of the Valpolicella Classica has marred the excellent expectations for this vintage. Until yesterday, the weather had favoured the maturation of healthy grapes perfect for appassimento. This had lead to predictions of a small increase in the production of grapes used to produce Amarone or Recioto della Valpolicella that rose by 2.3% in 2012.

In 2012, levels of Valpolicella DOC bottled wine decreased by 8.9%, a trend that seemingly will continue in 2013. The decrease was compensated by a significant increase in Valpolicella Ripasso DOC accounting for 15% in 2012 but which predictions say will is likely to be less significant in 2013.

For Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella, in 2012, the number of bottles produced remained stable at around 13.5m 750ml bottles. In 2013, it is likely that production levels of these two wines will continue to be stable.

Today, the Valpolicella appellation covers 7285ha, representing an increase of 3.9% compared to 2012. Between 2013 and 2014 only 60ha, equal to 0.9%, will be added to this figure as a result of the block on new plantings which came into force in 2010 and which starts to give visible effects.