Weather patterns have been so strange this year, with major surprises including late frost and intense, sudden rainfall.
All the old-timers agree: They’ve never seen anything like it.
Just ask any of the Prosecco growers from the generations of our parents and grandparents. The intense, erratic, and often suddenly changing climatic events are something that people in this part of Italy have never experienced before.
And this year has been particularly strange: Between a mild winter and early bud break, to the late and very severe spring frost that really threatened our crop, and now an extremely hot summer, with a prolonged heat wave and sudden intense rainfall… it’s enough to drive a grape grower crazy!
We were extremely fortunate with the late spring cold temperatures. We had some damage in the vineyards but luckily our vines managed to “repair” themselves. And in many ways, the spring freeze served as a sort of “green” harvest, whereby grapes are “dropped” to concentrate the flavors in the remaining fruit.
We really dodged a bullet back in the spring. But then last week, with very ripe fruit in the vineyards, we had two extreme climatic events — very, very heavy rainfall that came down violently, in two short bursts — that threatened our entire vintage, really.
But luckily we were spared. Maybe it’s the prayers of our friends in the U.S. that saved us! It sure feels like that.
No matter what you believe is the cause of climate change, there is no doubt that the climate is changing. And it’s not just the old folks who comment about this. Even in our lifetime (the current generation of Ferraro growers), we have seen an undeniable shift in patterns and the intensity and severity of events.
No matter what’s causing it, it’s time we do something about it.