Home Industry News Releases Enologist Attilio Pagli Describes the Prospects for the 2021 Vintage 

Enologist Attilio Pagli Describes the Prospects for the 2021 Vintage 

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“Small but Good, with Some Outstanding Wines”

September 29th – “Little wine but good and, in some cases, even excellent”: that is the summary of the 2021 vintage from  enologist Attilio Pagli, one of the most celebrated professionals in his field who has made a major  contribution to the development of modern winemaking both in Italy and abroad. With almost forty  years’ experience behind him, he consults for more than 30 producers in Italy and South America.  

“From a meteorological point of view,» he explains, «this year was definitely not one of the easiest for the vines’  growing cycle. The winter was characterized by normal temperatures, with good thermal excursions between  night and day. This mild season, with little rain, was followed by a similarly dry spring, especially in Central  Italy. However, because of the weather conditions, the growers then had to deal with some major challenges and  they suffered great problems, we must remember, as a result of the frosts at the beginning of April, which slowed down considerably ripening and the growth of the vines, contributing to a notable drop in the quantity of the harvest”.

Pagli also refers to the data processed by Unione Italiana Vini, the Association of Enologists and Ismea, which certify Italy’s total wine production for the 2021 campaign at 44.5 million hectoliters, thus registering a 9% drop compared to the 49 million hectoliters of 2020. Suffering most of all were the Sangiovese grapes, whereas Vermentino – and the white varieties in general – were less hard hit. Every vigneron always hopes for a “great vintage”, and perhaps for some this will be such a year. In fact, Pagli underlines that: “It is in years like this when you can tell whether a terroir has a real vocation for viticulture or not. Indeed, in the ‘best’ zones some splendid wines will undoubtedly be produced this year; in less good zones, on the other hand, there will be wines with  hard, aggressive tannins”.  

The first bunches have already been arriving at some wineries for a few weeks now, and the harvest is now coming into full swing in every Region of Italy.  

The last region that Pagli will visit will be the Valtellina, where harvesting will only begin around  the middle of October. Then he will head for South America, to visit and deal with vineyards in  Argentina and in Chile.  

“Grapes are a fruit that grows spontaneously, but which for thousands of years have been taken care of and  transformed by man. He, in symbiosis with nature, contributes to the final composition of the product: a  fine balance between the simplicity of an idea that makes absolutely no allowance for manipulation and the  complexity of a production process that leaves a very tight margin for error” – that is what the enologist’s  job entails.

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