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2008 vintage: forecasts

September 06, 2008 Tags:
Here we are, once again, is harvesting time. To be completely honest, the harvest has started around the 15th of August for the white wines in the southern regions whilst the red wines and the northern regions are starting now and will finish toward the end of September. The first thing to say about the 2008 vintage is that Italy will be, for the first time, the biggest producers of wine, overtaking France which due to non favourably weather conditions, should have one of the worst vintages in the last 10 years according to their Agricultural Ministry.

Not only the quantity of wine produced has increased, but also the quality has improved with more than 60% of the grapes used in the production of DOCG, DOC and IGT wines. Amongst the regions, Veneto, Apulia, Emilia Romagna and Sicily will this year produce 2/3 of the total production. However, adverse weather conditions in the North West, including Piedmont and Lombardy, will mean that the vintage for these regions, will not be as good as the previous one.

To fully assess the quality of the 2008 vintage we will need to wait a bit longer, until the harvesting is completed, because it is still too early to check if the heavy rain that have hit the northern regions in the second week of July has made any damage. The 2008 vintage has split Italy in 2 areas, the north and the centre/south, where in the first area the production has decreased due to adverse weather conditions that are still continuing whilst in the second area, the production has increased due to very favourable weather conditions that in some area has determined an anticipated harvesting.

So, in conclusion, what to expect from the 2008 vintage. It should be a pretty good vintage with very good wines for the regions that have not been hit by the bad weather and not a good vintage for wines from Piedmont and in particular Barolo and Barbaresco. The final assessment of the vintage for these wines has not been made yet and the harvesting has not started yet but at the moment is not looking good. The white wines, generally speaking, should present an aromatic and intense nose whilst the red wines should be very structured.
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