Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Paolo Cianferoni, from Radda in Chianti, always says it like it is. In this case he’s talking about a very sensitive subject, wine.

Paolo is the first of many Chianti Classico wine producers we will be interviewing, to understand how the 2017 production will be affected by the prolonged drought that has happened in this territory.

Paolo, what is the situation like from your point of view?

“The situation is critical, to say the least. For the land and its products: wine, but also for the chestnuts and the olives. People shop at the supermarket and do not perceive that nature is suffering: for this year the word ‘famine’ would not be an overstatement”.

How is the wine production situation affecting you?

“I’ve checked the vineyards recently. I should start the harvest right away, but there’s the Chianti Classico Expo in Greve. We’re not ready to start a month earlier than usual, I’ll start on 11th September, but I’m taking a risk because in some areas the grapes are drying out”.

What is the reduction in quantitative terms?

“In respect to Chianti Classico, with a ceiling of 75 quintals per hectare, if I reach 40 quintals I will be lucky. And I’m in a privileged area compared to others. Some producers have young vineyards and they won’t even be able to pick up the grapes, because they will all have dried out. But, once we leave the vineyards, even in the cellar it will not be easy”.

What do you mean?

“The fermentation processes with high sugar content are problematic. What should I say: we’ll face things one day at a time”.

You are a bit of a guru among the Chianti wine producers: how do you rate this year compared to the past?

“I started in 1965, it is my 42nd harvest and I’ve never seen anything like it. The situation this year is a bit like it was in 2003 but with two differences: in 2002 it rained a lot, so there were important water reserves, and we also had some storms. Not this year. And to make things worse, the wind has contributed by drying out the land. I think I can make 50-80 quintals of good wine, but until the grapes are in the cellar, it’s hard to say. Rain is expected on the 6th and 7th … Let’s hope so”.

Matteo Pucci