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Climate trends

The 2023 vintage was a complex but at the same time very fascinating vintage. In our vineyards the vines followed a regular, if not excellent, trend.

There was a return to the harvest rhythms of the past, without the rush of having to chase the accelerated ripening caused by high temperatures.

The first months of the year were much milder than normal. With the end of April, however, everything changed. We had several disturbances that lasted until the beginning of June. It can be said that it was definitely a very rainy spring, with a summer that struggled to get started and which only definitively established itself in the last days of June. What arrived was a very hot summer which lasted until the second fortnight of August.

The rains at the end of the month were the winning weapon of this vintage and allowed us to achieve perfect ripeness and harvest the grapes at their maximum splendor. The 2023 harvest was enjoyed, breathed, in which the ripening of the different varieties followed one after the other at the right pace, seeing us busy for more than 40 days. The grapes brought to the cellar are healthy, lush, with a good concentration and with an adequate sugar level. We expect elegance, power and intense aromas.

It was a complex year from an agricultural point of view and required careful management. The constant extreme heat and the extended drought created many headaches for vineyard management. However, we managed to ensure the conditions for stable ripening with attention and determination.

Rainfall at the end of August contributed to the natural realignment of the core characteristics and made it possible to postpone the start of what seemed to be an early harvest; it took more than a month to harvest our grape varietals, honour their respective ripening periods, and bring everything to the cellar.

The grapes were healthy, with a good level of ripeness and excellent flavour. Fermentation of the grape must was within normal parameters. The first aromas in the cellar are fresh and fruity and in tastings, the wines are full and complex… we are very curious and still waiting for the final results, with great expectations!

There was a long dry period in the Bolgheri area in 2021, which lasted from mid-May until the end of the harvest. Summer was mostly dry and windy, with warm but not excessively muggy temperatures. There were abundant water reserves, thanks to a rainy winter, which were useful for avoiding vine stress during the dry period. The harvest of white and red grapes destined for rosé began in the last week of August. Optimal climatic conditions allowed for the perfect ripening of the grapes, which were very healthy when harvested. At the beginning of September, we harvested the best plots of Vermentino, gradually continuing once the Syrah grapes were ripe and then on to Merlot, and lastly Cabernet, up to the last week of September. A significant temperature difference between night and day, especially at the beginning of September, protected the acidity of the grapes and helped to preserve aromatic components. Vinification brought forth expressive, refreshing whites and rosés, and fragrant, sapid reds rich with a polyphenolic component important for long ageing. We consider 2021 to be a very lovely vintage, and it is characterised by fresh and mineral wines that are also full-bodied with elegant tannins, wonderful aromas, and an excellent finish.

Climatic conditions in Bolgheri were quite well-balanced. Apart from a few cold nights at the end of March when the temperature dropped below freezing, the rest of spring was beautiful and sunny with some rain at the right moments to ensure proper vegetative growth with uniform flowering and fruit set. There were very few rainy days in June, except for some rainfall during the first week which prevented the vines from experiencing water stress, something that should be avoided during this stage of ripening. Towards the end of August, summer temperatures gradually began to drop after some rainfall, making it possible to begin the harvest. September was sunny and warm with a wide range of temperatures, typical for the area, for the rest of the harvest.

Autumn and the beginning of winter were marked by mild temperatures. The cold was never too harsh and only manifested between January and February. Rainfall, optimal in the springtime, was joined by sharp drops in temperature until the end of May, putting a strain on the vegetative recovery. The use of protective and stimulating elements to give the vine more energy, such as algae and natural substances, allowed us to confront this delicate period in the best possible way. Once the climatic conditions stabilised, flowering, fruit set, and veraison were satisfactory overall and well-balanced. They were helped by light rainfall, which arrived just at the moment when the vines began to show some water scarcity. August was characterised by cool nights and good daytime ventilation with some light rain showers. Temperatures rose again once the harvest began, but only for a few days: September gave us dry, breezy, and mild days, allowing us to consider 2019 one of the best vintages of the last 15 years.

The 2018 harvest at Poggio al Tesoro began on August 27th and ended on October 3rd. A very rainy spring caused some concern for both the health and quality of the grapes. However, summer brought about important changes in the vineyards, with the constant presence of sun and wind. Thanks to agricultural actions to aid the aeration of the grapes (defoliation, rearranging the bunches, pinching out new shoots, thinning), we managed to obtain good quality grapes, even in a season like 2018 which was marked by frequent spring rainfall. During the last part of the harvest, when all the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon grapes were still in the vineyards, temperatures dropped drastically, especially at night, and were accompanied by cool winds like the “Tramontana” and “Grecale”. This kept the grapes dry and preserved them from being attacked by botrytis and various moulds. The Vermentino harvest took place at night to collect cooler bunches and avoid oxidation.

The 2017 climatic conditions in Bolgheri reflect a changing global environment. Winter continued with good weather and slightly cooler temperatures than average, which protected against the proliferation of insects harmful to the vine. In the spring there was an early start to budding and fortunately, the spring frosts, which affected various Italian regions, did not impact the vegetation. Summer was sunny and breezy. Early July was characterised by relatively high humidity for the coastal area. The first heavy rainfall came in mid-September, but the days that followed were warm and bright. The prolonged drought helped us to fight against fungal and parasitic diseases. Irrigation management was complex and coordinated with the help of weather huts, equipped with sensors which detect soil humidity and evapotranspiration. But the human eye is forever irreplaceable: visual and manual inspection of leaf and grape turgidity indicated the best moment to provide the right amount of water, allowing us to keep the grapes firm and fresh, and maintain the protection of leaves with their chlorophyllin function.

Another vintage worth remembering, described by many as one of the earliest harvests in Bolgheri. After a rather mild winter, albeit affected by abundant rainfall, spring was marked by average rainfall and encouraged uniform growth of the shoots, which had already appeared in early March. Summer was breezy and dry with some refreshing rainfall at the beginning of September, which allowed the grapes to ripen in perfect health. During the pre-harvest period, high-temperature variations between day and night favoured phenolic and aromatic maturation, keeping the acidity high. The 2016 vintage promises intriguing wines with distinct varietal characteristics, with good structure and great ageing prospects.

2015 is considered one of Bolgheri’s greatest years. A significantly rainy winter allowed the vines to absorb water in the spring, leading to uniform and luxuriant budding that lasted until the beginning of June. The particularly favourable climatic conditions during the summer ensured regular development of all of the subsequent phenological phases, from fruit set to maturation. Considerable heat in July was mitigated by some providential storms; while a sunny and fairly windy August allowed the grapes to reach ideal phenolic ripeness. The harvest, which began on August 31st and ended on October 7th, was facilitated by numerous sunny days interspersed with sporadic rainfall. This is a memorable vintage with wines that boast good balance, great structure, and intense aromas.

The 2014 vintage was characterised by a mild winter. Rainfall in January and February allowed for the accumulation of sufficient water reserves which were essential for spring budding. The first months of summer saw average temperatures and sunny days alternating with frequent thunderstorms, thus ensuring a slow and regular development. Significantly, a green harvest made it possible to regulate the vines’ load by eliminating the abundant excess bunches. From the end of July, the rains gave way to the highest temperatures in August and September, allowing for the complete and uniform ripening of the grapes, also thanks to careful management of the leaf wall. The wines of this vintage have elegance and finesse which are rare for this area. It is a vintage that might surprise us.

The 2013 vintage began with abundant rainfall in both winter and spring – useful for a good summer water reserve – followed by a mild and cool summer. Temperatures rose at the end of July and the sudden change in temperature between day and night allowed for uniform ripening. Mild days with pleasant daytime temperatures allowed us to harvest in September, without the bunches becoming overripe. Careful management of the vineyard allowed us to keep the health and quality of the grapes and vines intact. To maintain a vegetative-productive qualitative balance, a selection of the bunches was thinned out.

The 2012 vintage began with a cold and relatively rainy spring. Excessive rainfall can put even the most experienced winemaker in difficulty during the period when vegetative growth is rapid and important. Careful management of the vineyard allowed us to keep the quality of the grapes and the health of the vines intact. In this area, known for early crops, there was no shortage of spring frosts which contributed to lower production yields. Fortunately, the hot and dry summer did not bring scorching temperatures with it, as it would certainly have compromised the quality of the vines and the grapes. Accurate emergency irrigation made it possible to keep all the vineyards dynamic and make it to September without any water stress. A temperature drop and some light rainfall at the beginning of September perfected the vintage, resulting in fine and elegant wines.

2011 was a year to remember from a viticultural point of view because of peculiar climatic conditions: a mild spring, well-balanced rainfall in March/April, frequent rainfall in June/July, and a cool summer with pleasant daytime temperatures until almost mid-August. Despite a temperature increase during the second half of August, high-quality grapes were harvested in perfect health with very intense colours and aromas. The harvest began a few days early because of the hot, dry days. However, that did not compromise the phenolic ripening of the grapes and the subsequent temperature drop was ideal for maintaining aromas and acidity, fundamental to producing elegant, balanced, and classy wines.

The climatic conditions in 2010 were distinguished by a cool and rainy winter which initially led to a slight lengthening of the flowering stage. The arrival of summer and the warm season in July contributed to a recovery of the ripening phase and, during the harvest there were good temperature variations between day and night with windy days which dried the grapes, maintaining excellent acidity.

The winter of 2008/2009 was harsh and rainy. The rainfall accumulation meant there were sufficient water reserves for the summer. A hot spring without excessive temperature changes ensured uniform and regular budding, an important foundation for the entire vegetative phase. A very hot summer with little rainfall allowed the grapes to ripen in perfect health and quality.

2008 was an excellent vintage, characterised by a mild spring and a rainy June which allowed the soil to store sufficient water reserves before a dry and breezy summer. Rainfall in mid-August prevented the grapes from overripening and they maintained a good acid content. The harvest took place in optimal climatic conditions, with hot, dry days and cool, breezy nights, which favoured ideal ripening indexes and maintained grape health, despite light rainfall that occurred towards the end of the harvest.

2007 was a great year. An exceptionally mild winter was followed by a very long summer. The budding took place earlier than the seasonal average and the summer months were rather cool and dry with a wide temperature range between day and night. There was light rainfall towards the end of September and the grapes ripened uniformly thanks to a green harvest aimed at eliminating excess bunches. The subsequent defoliation before the harvest further contributed to achieving perfect maturation.

The 2006 vintage is one of the most important in Bolgheri. The weather throughout the seasons was very even and there was a warm and sunny spring after a rather harsh and rainy winter. However, a delay in the vine’s budding was not averted by the warm spring. The vegetative development proceeded regularly, guaranteeing the formation of proper leaf coverage during the flowering period, which was slightly delayed in comparison to the average. The bud set was good, thanks to minimal rainfall in June and July, while the absence of water in August did not jeopardise optimal veraison. Fortunately, temperatures were never exceptionally high, which allowed for the conservation of water reserves which were necessary for optimal aromatic development and productive potential. The phenological phases followed one another with consistency during the summer. The harvest began towards the end of September and the grapes were perfectly healthy, well-concentrated, and had excellent aromatic maturation.

Excellent vintage characterised by a long summer, with rainfall in mid-September which allowed the harvest to continue at the end of the month. To balance the grape/plant yield, the vines were thinned out by 50% in July. In early September, the area around the bunch was defoliated to improve sun exposure. The harvest was carried out as soon as the tannins had matured.

An excellent vintage distinguished by a long summer with temperatures that were never excessive. During July, a green harvest thinned out 30% of the bunches to balance the surface area of leaves with the optimal amount of grapes for production.

Very high temperatures. The vines were subjected to a green harvest to obtain the optimal number of bunches per plant and counteract the high water stress of this year’s drought. The bunch selection during harvest was stringent and yields were very low. The harvest was delayed to ensure complete tannic maturation.