Harvest 2014, Valpolicella producers lower grape quantity for Amarone

Corvina and Molinara grapes still under veraison - photo courtesy of Claudio Oliboni

Corvina and Molinara grapes still under veraison - photo courtesy of Claudio Oliboni

In a dramatic development following some recent anticipations about a very difficult harvest in Valpolicella (see our report), we learnt that Consorzio Tutela Valpolicella (the organization representing local wine bottlers, cooperatives, wine producers and winegrowers), decided to lower from 50% to 35% the amount of grapes to be reserved for the drying process for the production of Amarone  2014.

Due to a month and a half of heavy rain, hail storms and excessive soil humidity, the health of grapes seems to be undermined almost everywhere in Valpolicella, with the exception of some hills exposed to local fresh winds.

These climatic conditions were probably the main reasons forcing Consorzio Valpolicella to ask to Regione Veneto Agriculture Department - as set by the law - to cut the quantity of grapes for the production of  Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella.

News emerged on Thursday, Aug. 28th, during the annual meeting of Western Veneto  Assoenologi - the association of Italian oenologists - ordinarily dedicated to anticipating harvest news and evaluations about grape quantities and qualities. During the meeting, oenologists reported that in Valpolicella - in average - the ripening of Corvina grapes is now 25 days late  respect the same 2013 period. This delay is evident in terms of acidity and sugar of grapes.

This news was the only clear confirmation of the difficulties that producers are going to face throughout the 2014 harvest in Valpolicella (for more details, please read our report here). Oddly enough, during the meeting, Consorzio Valpolicella officials didn't report anything more about the harvest: in an unusual way, the only presentation they did was about how Consorzio Valpolicella managed and promoted experiments with sexual confusion to combat grapevine moth.