La Cantina Pizzolato’s Marketing Manager Serena Zanatta recaps the 2016 organic wine harvest in the beautiful Veneto region of Italy.
2016 was an outstanding harvest year. With the inauguration of the new Pizzolato winery, we have realized a dream that started 35 years ago when we chose to become dedicated to organic agriculture.
The new facility encompasses our longstanding values, perfectly in line with the land around us. Our respect for the environment, the sustainability of the structure and of the materials used to build it, and our continuous research in more natural farming methods, are now further supported by the new winery.
2016 was a good year but not simple: the rainfall during flowering, associated with the late cold temperatures, reduced the productive potential in terms of quantity, but the quality has been maintained at 100%.
Our experience in the organic world, and the seasonal patterns of Italy, let us understand when and with which time intervals to perform the treatments that helped to compensate for the heavy rains. In the vegetative phase, we pollarded the plants 5 times instead of 3, helping to avoid humidity stagnation, which would have led to an increase in risk of diseases in the plants, such as downy mildew. The varieties of grapes were healthy with grains of medium-large size and heavy bunches, with good sugar content and acidity.
For most of our varieties, the harvest was carried out thanks to the grape-harvesting machine of the latest generation that, with a light shake of the plant, causes the detachment of the grape bunch without stressing the plant itself.
Our primary wine is definitely the Prosecco and its variety, the Glera grape. This year presented compound bunches, with an average weight and although the spring temperature drop reduced fruit set, the quality and the aroma of the fruit were unaffected and outstanding. A great base for many of our sparkling and fizzy wines. Moving on to the varieties of Cabernet and Merlot, we saw a slightly lower yield due to aging of the vineyard, but the aromas and the bouquet of the wine are consistently good and of high-quality. These include the fruits for the line of no added sulfites wines, which had compact and healthy bunches. Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio grapes were harvested in the same period, on August 28, the first grapes to be harvested in the Pizzolato vineyards. The bunches were compact and well presented with a good balance between acidity and sugar content: these grapes are an excellent basis for the white sparkling wine and for DOC Venezia wines.
We pay special attention to the Raboso grape: these are the last grapes we harvest in our vineyards, exclusively by hand. This year we harvested it in the first week of November. This grape is very vigorous and needs to be defoliated to facilitate the maturation of the bunch and the accumulation of coloring matter; this operation has been carried out during the flowering and veraison. The harvest was good also for Manzoni Bianco, one of the other very special local grapes. Despite the strong heat of August, the acidity of the grapes and their aroma has been of high quality with a good yield per hectare.
During the 2015 harvest, we designed and tested a space that would hold most of the large quantity of white grapes that account for 85% of our harvest. We prepared a temperature-controlled storage area, joined by a new laboratory for sampling and analysis that allows us to keep the wine monitored during its development.
The large capacity of the vinification finally allows a shorter working time while always keeping a high-quality product.
Overall we were pleased with 2016 harvest numbers, as we obtained all the quantities necessary for each grape variety.