The arrival of cold weather is good news for grape growers in Italy and it’s a good sign for a good vintage.
Good news for a good vintage: A pattern of unusually warm January temperatures was finally disrupted this week with the arrival of more “seasonally correct” highs in the mid-to-high 30s° F. and lows in the upper 20s°.
Ask any winemaker, nearly anywhere in the world, and they will tell you that the best vintages are the ones that are considered classic in their climatic progression.
You need to start off with a cold and wet winter. Then you need a spring that is also wet but not too warm. Next, in an ideal vintage, you have a summer that doesn’t get too hot and ideally has cool evenings. And lastly, if all goes well, you will have a dry fall that doesn’t get too cold too fast.
Right now, an unseasonally warm winter could be disastrous for fine wine grape growers.
The problem is that if the vines begin to bud early, the plants’ development risks being arrested later in the year when the spring frosts arrive. That could cause the vines to lose their flowers that have grown from the buds.
The budding needs to begin in the early spring so that by the time the flowering starts, the risk of spring frosts has passed.
You can see from the photo above that the weather has really gotten cold.
Indeed, we had to light a fire to keep warm as we were working in the vineyards this week.
But we couldn’t be happier. The arrival of the cool winter weather means that we are back on track for having a classic vintage with four seasons. That’s what will create balance that we try to achieve each year with our wines.