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The grape harvest has just started in Tuscany and the first forecasts for this year’s wine production can be made.

According to Assoenologi, the winter of 2018 brought northern currents throughout December and February, and mild temperatures in January. We had abundant rainfall and snowfall which were able to make up the region’s serious water deficit.

The temperatures recorded in spring were above the seasonal average, and brought abundant rainfall, making it the rainiest season of the last thirty years.

The second half of August was characterised by high temperatures, interspersed with various storms accompanied by some isolated hailstorms, which affected the whole region.

“The current weather conditions bode well for this year’s wine production. We can expect a wine of good/excellent quality – says Tullio Marcelli, president of Coldiretti Toscana – although the results of the harvest will depend heavily on September weather. We traditionally start the grape harvest at the end of August, with the white Pinot and Chardonnay grapes. Throughout September and October we harvest the native red grapes, our flagship”.

At first analysis the grapes showed normal development and ripening, so that the harvest started after the tenth of August with the early-ripening white cultivars, such as Chardonnay, Pinot and Viognier. In the first days of September it will be the turn of the red grapes (Merlot, Syrah).

The harvest of Vernaccia and Vermentino grapes is scheduled for September 15th-20th, followed by the Sangiovese, the grape used for the production of Chianti, Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino.

In regard to the quantity, an increase of about 25% is estimated compared to last year (1.9 million hectolitres – Istat data), equal to a total production of about 2,400,000 hectolitres of wine.

In term of quality, we expect varied results, but overall it’ll be an interesting vintage, with several excellent peaks.