Just a few hours ago, Berlucchi, Franciacorta’s pioneering sparkling-wine producer, kicked off the harvest of its first 520 hectares of grapes.
The first Pinot Noir to be brought in is from the Brolo vineyard, which overlooks the historic cellars. Assisting in the picking this morning was Fabio Rolfi, the Lombardy Region’s Assessor for Agriculture, Nutrition, and Green Systems, since he wanted to speak personally about this quality of this year’s harvest with Arturo Ziliani, Berlucchi General Manager and Winemaker, as well as Board Member of Consorzio Franciacorta
“Last year was quite challenging, requiring very careful vineyard operations, with frequent and very meticulous pruning,” explained Ziliani. “But that paid off this year, with an ideal crop of grapes that are perfectly sound and healthy. And that was despite heavy rains during the summer, which could easily have negatively impacted the growing season, particularly since we practice organic viticulture on 91% of our estate vineyards.”
“But the physical ripeness, that is, the correct ratio between sugars and acids in the grapes, just reached its peak in the best-aspected vineyards, even a bit earlier than we expected, and the acids are nice and high, just what we need for making long-lived, well-balanced sparkling wines.
“We are expecting a lengthy, painstaking picking season. Crucial to our success is keeping careful track if the ripening curves in each vineyard, which our Gias mapping software makes possible this year: it gives us, in real time, a complete picture of the technical data for each individual vineyard parcel.
“Now that we survived the rains, downpours, and even two hailstorms in July,” concluded Ziliani, “we can finally greet August with optimism and the expectation of a great vintage.”