October 26th – Lower quantity, but impeccable quality. “We picked outstanding healthy grape bunches,” said Giovan Battista Basile, president of the Montecucco Consortium. “We expect an excellent and long-aging Sangiovese DOCG.”
New York, 26 October 2021. The Montecucco Consortium announced the end of the harvest and released its 2021 harvest report, which indicates an average quantity decrease of 20–25% compared with 2020 but excellent quality for the Sangiovese that arrived in the cellar.
The 2021 growing season was difficult. The April frost was a serious challenge for the region, in particular for wineries below 200–240 m ASL. A cold May caused an irregular budbreak, and summer drought stress contributed to further reducing harvest volumes. The unusual drought persisted as a problem from January to September: 204 mm of rain compared to an average of 450 mm annually during the last 20 years.
But favorable sunny weather conditions accompanied the flowering and the ripening of the grapes from June through September. During the latter month, there were significant day-to-night fluctuations in temperature with variations as high as 15–16° C, significantly helping tannins soften and enhancing the aromatic profile of the wines.
Montecucco producers did their best to minimize the water stress conditions on the vines by controlling excessive vegetation and working the land almost daily to ensure a sufficient water supply. Some wineries were able to intervene with emergency irrigation systems. Thanks to this diligent management, producers reached the yield of 70 quintals per hectare required by the Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG regulations and 90 quintals per hectare required by the Montecucco DOC regulations. Montecucco winemakers were able to evaluate and manage the situation successfully, dividing the harvest into several phases according to the particular needs of each plot.
“We’re expecting the Sangiovese wines to age for a long time,” said Giovanni Battista Basile, president of the Montecucco Consortium. “We’re more than satisfied with the excellent health of the grapes that arrived in the cellar, with no traces of either downy mildew or powdery mildew. The ‘clean’ work in the vineyards that is in the DNA of our territory—with 85% of wineries certified organic—encouraged these results and helped make the vines more resistant. Our winegrowers have made a significant effort to implement earth-friendly practices such as organic pest management and the use of natural and organic products, as well as engaging in innovative studies and research projects on environmental sustainability, in partnership with important institutes and university centers.”
About the Montecucco Consortium (Consorzio Tutela Vini Montecucco):
Founded in 2000 and representing 68 wine producers, the Montecucco Consortium is committed to the stewardship, protection and promotion of the Montecucco wine denomination. The consortium ensures high quality through a set of formal production guidelines for the entire winemaking process, from cultivation to bottling, including a strict traceability system that allows consumers to know the origin of each wine purchased. The consortium’s ability to provide day in and day out support to local growers, assist in brand promotion and focus on the quality of the end product have earned the organization the trust of numerous leading estates and attracted some of Italy’s most renowned producers. For more information visit consorzio montecucco.it.