Truth Be Told: The 2018 harvest is one of “the most difficult I can remember.”

“One of the most difficult harvests I can remember,” says Bele Casel grape grower Luca Ferraro.

Truth be told, goes the age-old expression. One of the things the Ferraro family has always believed in is 100 percent transparency. From their “Prosecco Diaries,” published here on the blog, to their social media activity and engagement, they have always made a point to write and speak with full transparency when it comes to describing their growing conditions and the wines that they produce.

Across Italy and northern Italy in particular, the 2018 vintage will be remembered as an extremely wet growing cycle. Intense late spring and early summer rains were followed by extreme heat. The alternating cool and warm temperatures, combined with excessive humidity in the vineyards, were less than ideal, to say the very least.

The Ferraro family and Bele Casel were spared major damage from the year’s many hailstorms. But like their neighbors, they could not escape the bizarre weather patterns and conditions.

The following notes were published this week by Bele Casel grape grower this week on his Facebook.

The 2018 vintage has been “one of the most difficult harvests I can remember,” he wrote in his Monday, September 17 post on the social media platform.

“We began by picking just certain parts of the rows with the ripest grapes. Then we would return to the same row and finish our work.”

We “machine-harvested 20 tons of grapes after we saw how the acidity was dropping abruptly.” We did this to “speed up the picking time.”

“We had a small team of people” working the harvest, he noted. “And we were able to pick 20 tons of grapes every day in the Cornuda vineyard and just over 10 tons in Monfumo.”

“Sigh,” he wrote to express his disappointment with the Monfumo yield.

“We’ll have to wait until the middle of October,” he added, to determine “the quality of the wines” from this vintage.

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