Good Expectations for 2013 vintage

VALPOLICELLA - 2013 has everything needed to be a great vintage

20th August 2013 - Following a slow start to the growing season, healthy grapes and a good summer means that the conditions needed for the 2013 vintage to be excellent are all in place. Renzo Caobelli, Director of Agronomy for the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella, gave this encouraging news. The winter saw a good amount of rainfall and snow in the area which allowed the underground water reserves to be replenished, explained Caobelli, as well as this, temperatures didn’t fall as low as the previous winter. It is true that the persistent weather fronts at the end of winter slowed the start of the growing season slightly however this started at the beginning of April as normal. Spring 2013 saw a high level of rainfall and relatively low temperatures.

In many areas, the rainfall recorded up to the end of May was equal to that of the whole of 2012 (over 600mm). The cold and wet weather continued into the first month of summer and until the end of July both abundant rainfall and below average temperatures contributed to a 12 - 14 day delay in the development of the vine compared to last year. The weather conditions affected the development of the plants by slowing the vegetative cycle and leaving them vulnerable to infections such as downy mildew that develop readily with continued rainfall. Timely interventions to defend the vines have however given good results and the grapes have been protected well. Other diseases such as powdery mildew and botrytis were not widespread and, if the few cases of attacks of dead-arm that surprised a handful of vine growers at the start of the season aren’t considered, the vineyards were well defended against disease overall.

Insects did not cause any particular difficulty this year, a direct consequence of the rainfall and low temperatures. The president of the Consorzio, Christian Marchesini, underlined that The areas where the innovative strategy of sexual confusion (that the Consorzio pilots) to control vine moths was applied have seen good results.

The turning point of the season occurred in mid July when the African anticyclone raised temperatures above what would be expected for the time of year with very positive effects on the maturation of the fruit. Despite being a week behind in respect of 2012, the accumulation of heat is in perfect syntony with previous years and grapes for drying are forecast to the harvested towards the middle of September whilst the harvest of grapes for immediate vinification will commence a week later.

If no unexpected intense weather systems arise, concluded the President, we can expect a vintage that begins under positive omens.

Christian Marchesini. President, Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella

Christian Marchesini
President, Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella

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Faye Cardwell
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