New York, NY, October 28, 2020 – Tuscan wine producer Frescobaldi has released their 2020 harvest report which indicates a great vintage for wine across the region despite the challenges of the global pandemic. The report includes Frescobaldi estates Castello Nipozzano, Castello Pomino, Tenuta Perano, Tenuta Castel Giocondo, Tenuta Ammiraglia, Tenuta Castiglioni, as well as the vineyards on the island of Gorgona.
“The 2020 growing year will not fade soon from our memory, for a multitude of reasons, chief among them the superb quality of its fruit, “ comments Lamberto Frescobaldi, President of Frescobaldi Toscana, “It was a triumphant harvest in every terroir… remarkable considering it was such a very challenging year from a human point of view, since while Italy was essentially shut down because of the health emergency, we winegrowers, with our usual passion and determination, still had to tend our vineyards—all the while fully observing health protection measures. What we gained from 2020 is extraordinary wines.”
In Tuscany, winter was largely mild, with little rainfall, while spring brought generous rains, which built up the groundwater reserves. A hot, dry summer promoted outstanding levels of ripeness in all the grape varieties on our wine estates, ranging from Ammiraglia on Tuscany’s Maremma coast to Pomino on the slopes of the Apennine mountains, then to CastelGiocondo in Montalcino, Perano in Gaiole in Chianti, Castiglioni in Montagnana, and Nipozzano in Pelago.
The 2020 Harvest Report broken down by estate:
Winter was not severe, and spring brought mild temperatures, all conditions that led to an early awakening of the vines, followed by good flowering and fruit set. Vine growth was even and balanced, and the clusters enjoyed a slow, gradual ripening. A cool June segued into a dry and breezy summer, with consistent temperatures right up to harvest, when significant day-night temperature differentials built up aromatic compounds and crisp acidities in the fruit.
Under such ideal conditions, the vines could reach their highest quality potential, delivering healthy grapes that eminently reflected the distinctive characteristics of the Nipozzano terroir and presaged a generous supply of wines of outstanding quality.
A mild winter with no excessively severe temperatures brought on an early bud break with consistent bud size across the vineyard parcels. The leaves that immediately appeared were intense and bright green, all signs of healthy, balanced vines. During veraison, the two months preceding harvest, the vineyards received scattered rainfall and plenty of sun. The first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were picked on August 24th. Sampling revealed healthy clusters and crisp, firm berries with good acidity; equally outstanding were the grapes that came in the following weeks. September’s warm, dry days were perfect conditions for the remainder of the harvest, all outstanding quality.
Grapes that were top quality and, in some cases, exceptional, with a slight uptick in crop quantity, were the gift of a year that also seemed superior from some points of view. The vineyards’ unusual location, inside three natural amphitheaters, ensured grapes of thorough ripeness and health and wines that are already elegantly fragrant.
Two of the unique factors that encourage such quality levels have proven to be the soils, which facilitate penetration by the vine roots, and the 500-600-meter elevation of the vineyards. The weather was relatively consistent, with a warm summer and early autumn that experienced incredible ranges of day-night temperatures. Those conditions gave us levels of sugar and polyphenols that will, in turn yield a Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione that are likely to be memorable.
Elevated temperatures and minimal rainfall made for a mild winter and Spring. Bud break started 7-10 days earlier than usual and concluded at the end of March. In May, warm, sunny days encouraged an impressive flowering and subsequent fruit-set, with the vines developing a crop in perfect balance. June continued mild, with some providential rains that assisted vine development and cluster growth. The remainder of the summer was hot and sunny, with little rainfall. The vines progressed on schedule, with early veraison at the end of July.
On August 31st and September 1st, the vineyards experienced rain that helped complete grape ripening, resulting in a deeply colored and healthy fruit, with loose clusters evenly distributed on the vines. Harvest started on September 3rd for the first Merlot parcels, on the 10th for the Sangiovese dedicated to Rosso di Montalcino, and then concluded in late September with the grapes that produce Brunello di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.
Late Autumn rains, mild winter, and spring with above-average temperatures established conditions for a nice vegetation-crop balance in the vineyards. Although the summer was hot and dry, breezes blowing off the Tyrrhenian Sea tempered the day-time highs and favored the Syrah’s excellent ripening for the Aurea Gran Rosé.
Harvest began in the last week of August with Vermentino and Syrah. The fruit quality was impressive, with clusters rich in crisp, fruit-laden aromas. A period of rain followed which helped to perfect the ripeness of the remaining estate red grapes.
At Tenuta Castiglioni, bud break occurred a few days early, and the shoots immediately pushed out, thanks to a relatively mild spring, and the final days of May saw excellent fruit-set.
Rains in early June meant intense operations in the vineyards aimed at protecting the vegetation and the still-developing clusters. Still, the rains re-charged the groundwater reserves, enabling the soils to cope with the summer heat. Dry, hot conditions in late summer encouraged veraison and the final stages of ripening. That and the medium-sized crop load meant that, at harvest, the fruit was perfectly healthy, with terrific sugar and acidity levels. At Castiglioni, 2020 is a vintage to remember for quality and intensity.
The growing year on the island of Gorgona experienced generous winter rains but with temperatures that were mitigated by marine air currents and, therefore, relatively mild. As is the norm on this island, the vines awakened early, in the first week of March. Spring was incredibly pleasant, with temperate, sunny days, favoring canopy and crop development, but summer was slightly cooler than in preceding seasons, bringing temperatures that rose towards late July. But the island’s distinctive climate, gift of its surrounding sea, combined with some scattered rainfall, allowed the clusters to reach harvest in textbook-perfect health and ripeness. September followed, sun-blest and breezy, ensuring that the grapes achieved high levels of polyphenols, complemented by equally impressive and elegant aromatics.
About Frescobaldi Toscana | en.frescobaldi.com
Frescobaldi Toscana, the leading wine producer of Tuscany and one of the most historic and respected wine companies in the world, combines centuries of tradition with progressive winemaking techniques and practices. Founded in the 14th century and a supplier of wines to the royal courts of Europe for generations, Frescobaldi Toscana is still a family-owned company today. Comprised of seven distinct estates totaling approximately 1,300 hectares, Frescobaldi Toscana produces terroir-driven wines utilizing only the grapes grown in its own vineyards. The company continually upgrades and modernizes its grape growing and winemaking operations, maintaining a relentless focus on producing unique wines that express the individuality of each unique terroir from which they are produced.