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We have done more than half, that’s a good thing.
What can it be said already?
- 2011 harvest started two weeks earlier (you know that), but it is not going to end two weeks earlier, probably.
- some vineyards were negatively affected by a heat wave during the second half of August.
- other vineyards, who knows why, simply weren’t. It had rained nearly 150 mm in July, in two days, that’s a loto of water anywhere, but really unexpected in Maremma.
- After that rain, it hasn’t rained at all, and it is not going to rain -allegedly – until the end of the month. It’s so much easier working like this, planning the harvest of the different vineyards without having to rush because it’s going to rain tomorrow, etc. So, that’s good.
- the vines that we haven’t harvested yet are good, no rush, they are just there and waiting for us to come and pick the grapes, that will be done next week and maybe something the week after.
- yield is low, not only for the dry conditions, but also because of the Powdery Mildew, that has been fierce this year. Considering that we are doing organic farming, things haven’t been easy sometimes, and some vineyards have succumbed.
- fermentations are running smoothly, without added yeasts, and in most of cases, without sulfites.
- wines are quite good, very relaxed, expressive. There are a couple of Sangiovese that I love, and a good amount of outstanding Ciliegiolo from old vines. Grenache (or, locally, Alicante) has been harvested but it’s too early to judge, but grapes were beautiful, and there is a small amount of very interesting Syrah. Not at all a lot of bad stuff. Some Sangiovese with green tannins, understandably, but overall good enough for Bellamarsilia, which we want to be fresh, crispy and vibrant.
- we keep experimenting with local varieties, especially white grapes, such as Duropersico, Grechetto, Procanico, Nocchianello, Francesino, Malvasia. Never heard of them? You’re not alone. A few of them will be interesting, I can see that already (fermentation is carried out in 500 lt barrels, or cement of fiberglass vats, with the skins and without any addition whatsoever, in the amount of 50-200 lt each).
Below here you can see the Verdello (same as Verdelho of Madeira according to the ampelograph, i.e. the guy that knows everything about grape varieties ) and Procanico Lento (Slow Procanico literally, not to be confused with Trebbiano toscano)