Notes on harvest halfway through

prosecco acidity 2014Yesterday we didn’t pick grapes here at Bele Casel. We worked in the cellar instead.

This year, the grape harvest has a rhythm completely different from other years. It’s been difficult to pick over the course of a whole day because it continues to rain at least once a day here. The selection of the grapes in the vineyards takes up a lot of time and as a result, the normal rhythms of harvest are much slower.

In the morning we let the wet grapes dry. In the afternoon, we pick grapes as long as the weather permits.

State of the grapes:

Overall, the health of the grapes is good. Some vineyards have had a few problems and so we decided to pick on the early side. Other vines have very healthy fruit and so we’ll wait another few days to pick them. We’ll begin picking Glera grapes in Maser (in part), Monfumo, and the Caerano hillsides toward the end of this week.

Ripening:

To date, we have picked part of the Cornuda vineyard, part of the Maser vineyard, and the Caerano vineyard as well. We analyze the grapes every day and we have found that the acidity is much higher with respect to previous vintages.

The malic acid in particular is high and the sugar content is slightly lower. We attribute this to the fact that warm weather and sunshine didn’t arrive in July and August. For sparkling winemakers like us, this is somewhat of a problem because all of our wines need to undergo a second fermentation that will take the alcohol level to roughly 11 percent.

Quality of the grapes:

I can’t hide the fact that I was very pessimistic up until a few weeks ago. I thought all of this water would have made the grapes insipid and lacking in flavor. But I was very relieved when the first Glera bunches arrived at the winery.

Fermentation:

Fermentation in the first tanks has begun and there don’t seem to be any problems. Maybe it’s time to be optimistic and wait until the truth emerges on its own when we stick our noses into a glass of Asolo Prosecco DOCG Superiore.

Luca Ferraro grape grower and winemaker

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