Ciao, spring and hello, VinItaly!!
For those of you planning on a visit to Verona, you will find us in the Tuscany Pavilion (Number 8), at booth number C1.
Those of you who will not be at the fair can enjoy a tiny bit of it anyway: our VinItaly edition of the 2011 Harvest Report, downloadable on this site.


VinItaly and spring are both upon us: trees are in blossom – even in Milan! – and daily life in the wine trade has something of the frenzied pace of a beehive. It’s time to take stock of what man and nature managed to work out between them in the vineyards before their winter sleep of ’11/’12.
Months from the actual harvest, data have firmed up and wines have ripened; the picture is clearer, ready to be clipped or clicked into place in the folders or laptops of wine professionals all over the world.
On October 16th, 2011, Assoenologi, the Association of Italian Enologists, was already proclaiming the ’11 harvest to be “the smallest crop in the past 60 years: 14% less than 2010”. This was partly due to the heat wave of mid- to late August, and partly to green harvests and massive extirpation (particularly in southern Italy). The last time Italy saw this kind of quantity was 1948, when a mere 40.4 million hectoliters were produced.
Between December ’11 and January ’12, two other major authorities redid the math and came up with an even smaller official quantity: barely above 40 million hectoliters, i.e. -14.2% by comparison with 2010 (which had totaled 46.7 million hectoliters). If the 2011 harvest hit record figures quantity-wise – that is, in the smallness of crops – concentration was inversely proportional to the size of harvested fruit and quality was correspondingly high for those growers who did their homework in the vineyard; and for those who either picked early – before the heat wave that parched the peninsula from August 18th onwards – or who patiently waited for the capricious September weather to blow over.
In conclusion, results were Italy’s characteristic mixed bag of fruits; what Italians call a macchia di leopardo – a “leopard-spot harvest” that saw substantial variations in quality, even within a single region or area: fair to excellent, so-so to memorable. One common denominator was that of healthy grapes in most of the country. Needless to say, Empson growers are all firmly set on the outstanding end of the scale. Some, like Andrea Costanti (who picked from September 20th), were favored by the high altitudes and cooler weather and reported “una grandissima vendemmia” from day one.
Other global factors were the powerful alcohol, considerable polyphenol content in reds and especially fragrant, interesting whites.

…To read more, download the complete Report…

Download attached file