It’s still too early to predict the outcome of the 2015 harvest, but we can say it is dramatically different from last summer. Rainy, wet conditions plagued 2014, while this year we are getting record heat. With temperatures hovering around 40°C / 104°F it is one of the most intense summer in 70 years.
These extreme conditions can cause heat stress to the vines, which can mean photosynthesis is not trigger and ripening is slowed.
Fortunately the vines are still in good health with plenty of ground water keeping the leaves green and vigorous. Rain from the winter and spring have given the plants a deep water reserve, balancing out the high temperatures. Moreover the heat has contributed to preserve the vine by fungal attacks.
As of today we look to be on track for a good year with abundant production. However, if the excessive heat continues the situation could change. Over the past three weeks average temperatures have been higher than in Africa – abnormal for Italy. To maintain the positive growing conditions we need a bit of rain in the coming weeks. But, we also are weary of a temperature drops that could put us at risk for severe thunderstorms and hail.
At this stage we are witnessing an early veraison. Veraison is the phase when the grapes change color. The photo below shows a Nebbiolo grape bunch during veraison. We will be posting images on our social media channels every 10 days until this particular grape bunch is harvested. Follow the changes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.