Good news for the 2018 grape harvest. Unlike last year, when the hail in March and April and the drought in July severely tried the vineyards, this year Italy seems in a position to breathe a sigh of relief. A standard and balanced year, positive throughout Italy despite the summer rain that caused a few critical situations in the south. A double-digit increase that is obvious, given that the previous year recorded a drop that, in some regions of central Italy, reached even -30%. The data as of today, while the harvest continues and will continue until October and November for the late grape varieties, foresee a total production of about 49.4 million hectoliters, decidedly higher than the 42.5 million hectoliters of last year. The increase in production, as well as being good news for Italy, is especially important in terms of exports that may mark a good recovery on the international market, with the prospect of exceeding 6 billion Euros by the end of the year.
The grape harvest in Tuscany
The 2018 vintage in Tuscany occurred under the flag of half seasons, with a cooler spring and typical thunderstorms in the summer that led to a strategy opposite to that of last year. In particular, major thinning helped to ventilate the bunches of grape and avoid spoilage or disease. The production was marked by an increase of about 20%, which, however, remains below the average due to the weakening of the vines still affected by the past year. In Tuscany, after the aromatic white grapes and the sparkling bases - the first ones to be harvested - it was the time of the Vernaccia and Merlot grapes, while the harvest of the later grapes such as Sangiovese is now underway, starting from the southernmost parts and ending with the areas of Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino. The harvest time was in line with past years, but delayed by about ten days compared to last year when the harvest was significantly anticipated due to the drought and early ripening.
Sangiovese, an Italian black grape variety, had probable Tuscan origins and is one of the most common grape varieties in Italy. It is part of the blends used for many wines: Chianti, Chianti Classico, Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano and others less known but equally interesting ones.
The first historical information was found in the treatise on the cultivation of the Soderini vines dated 1600. A vine of excellent strength, which gives its best in cool areas during the night and temperate areas during the day. The long, conical-pyramidal bunch, usually very compact, has a black-purple skin. This vine yields a ruby red wine, compact and lively. The aroma is very intense and fine, fruity and floral, with hints of morello cherry, sour black cherry and violet. To the palate it usually expresses a balance between freshness, tannin and alcohol, with structure and great taste-olfactory persistence. The period of the grape harvest usually ranges between late September and mid-October.
At Fattoria di Calappiano it is harvest time. We are now harvesting the grapes, including, of course, our Sangiovese ones, especially in the area of Montalbano where Chianti Montalbano Docg is produced, on a soil rich in fossils and characterized by a continental climate mitigated by Mediterranean influences. In this territory, Sangiovese wine is full og great elegance and character, immediately identifiable when tasted. The red wines of the Fattoria di Calappiano, produced with grapes from the Vinci area and neighboring municipalities in the Montalbano area, all have, each in its own way, the "signature" of this particularly fine and high-quality Sangiovese. The undisputed king is the charismatic Collegonzi wine, produced with 100% Sangiovese grapes, with hints of red fruits, fine spices and smoky hints, where elegance and persistence are the distinctive trademarks. The Lungarno wine, intense and vinous, full and spicy, with the fragrance of violets and cherries, is produced using 90% Sangiovese grapes and 10% Colorino grapes. Last but not least, Chianti Docg Vinciano Riserva, juicy and persistent, with hints of undergrowth and tobacco, is made of a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo.
What about pairing? It can be perfectly paired with all Tuscan cuisine dishes such as meats and cheeses, spelt soups, bread and cabbages soups, stewed rabbit - a traditional Montalbano dish - and of course... the "Florentine T-bone steak".
Grape harvest time and drying time. This year, Governato wine produced by Fattoria di Calappiano doubles all its numbers. Thanks to a more abundant harvest, the drying grapes increased by 50%. Experimentation with the University of Tuscia and Prof. Fabio Mencarelli continues. For now, the grapes are dried in a fruit cellar at the Calappiano farm, then it will be time to age them in terracotta jars.
Deep ruby red in color, this wine boasts hints of sweet fruit, cherries and morello cherries. To the palate it is soft and fresh, characterized by ripeness and natural sweetness that are specific features of the Tuscan Governo wine with which it is produced.