2014 harvest… totally difficult, but not impossibleposted on 15 October 2014
We have finally finished this year’s troubled harvest, and after our series of tastings we feel that we can now give a very preliminary judgment on this year’s wines. The factors that characterised this growing season were huge amounts of rain, low average temperatures, little sun, and a summer that we saw only for brief moments. These conditions created a host of problems, with the grapes struggling to achieve ripeness and various fungal attacks – despite our constant efforts in the vineyards – affecting both clusters and leaves. As a consequence, the picking went much more slowly than usual, and the crop was much lighter, in particular because we had to perform a very painstaking quality-selection of the grapes on the vine, since we want to vinify only the finest-quality clusters, the ripest and healthiest. Hard work and meticulous attention do nevertheless always produce good results, even though we now have a vintage in which the wines display less body and less alcohol than normal, with pronounced acidities at least at this moment, all of which give us wines that seem more “Nordic” in style than Mediterranean, more similar to the wines of the1960s and ‘70s. We will now need to dedicate much more attention to the new wines in order to ensure good-quality final versions. But we are convinced that they will bring us unexpected, and pleasant, surprises, wines that will be crisper, with good grip or even a tad rough in their youth, but which will have good evolution potential, although full maturity may take a bit longer than usual. For a wine as powerful, rich, and full-bodied as our Nepomuceno, the season was certainly not among the most favourable, and it may not be produced at all, nor certainly will be our dessert wine, Sole di Dario. Overall, then, having incurred much higher costs than usual we ended up with less and poorer. But it would be a mistake to simply reduce all this to a financial balance sheet. These are years that stimulate the tenacity and skills of both grapegrower and winemaker, and help one to grow, even in challenging circumstances, to gain expertise that will be of great value in the years ahead, and to be more in touch with the deeper reasons that impel one to choose this profession.