Extreme rainfall until June then long drought with seasonal temperatures
Elegance, fresh fruit, soft tannins
The year 2018 began with a long winter, which, with its copious amounts of rain, replenished the soil's water reserves, depleted by the weather conditions of the previous year. The winter had temperatures that were well below the average of recent years and it also lasted into March. But this also had a positive effect on the vines in the vineyard. Because they were able to recover continuously and gradually from the extreme weather conditions of the previous year due to the extensive rainfall.
Spring also continued to bring frequent and copious amounts of rain and temperatures that were far too low for this time of year. The period between the end of May and the beginning of June was particularly challenging for the winegrowers. Extremely heavy and persistent rainfall made the work and management of the vineyards very difficult or even impossible for the winegrowers. It was often not possible to enter the vineyards at all, let alone work there with equipment. In those cases where timely intervention was not possible, there was damage and major challenges from fungal diseases. In addition, extensive thinning measures had to be carried out on almost all vines due to the weather conditions. This work became necessary to control the growth caused by the weather conditions. In addition, producers must ensure that they keep production within the limits set by the consortium.
Luckily, the flowering and the subsequent fruit set were normal and under optimal climatic conditions, which gave hope for a good end with a rich year. The summer season then gradually brought warmer weather in June and from mid-July temperatures rose significantly. This led to a period of good and stable weather, which favored the ripening of the grapes, but without leading to an increase in the quantity of grapes and without bringing forward the expected harvest date.
The Nebbiolo grapes were finally harvested in the traditional way with hand picking beginning in early October and harvesting work typically lasted around three to four weeks. Some winegrowers took advantage of the good October weather to start harvesting later and their harvest was not completed until November.
In both the Barolo and Barbaresco areas, sugar levels increased in the second half of the season and there was an acceleration in phenolic ripeness, which made it possible to reach and finish the harvest with excellent parameters. In connection with an ideal acidity, which had developed due to the temperature differences between day and night in September, this results in harmonious and balanced wines that are ideal for storage.
In summary, this was actually a traditional vintage, but it demanded a lot of attention from the winemakers in the management of the vineyard. Those winegrowers who paid attention and put in the work involved were able to achieve results that then significantly exceeded their low expectations at the beginning of the campaign.
*Source: Consortium Barolo & Barbaresco