The harvest began on August 25th with the white muscat, which was picked early in the morning in cool temperatures. We then continued after an interval of several days, on September 8th with the chardonnay and the sangiovese of Cavaion. After that, we selected the grapes for the Castello Guerrieri Rosso: 42% corvina, 29% sangiovese, 19% rondinella and the blend was completed with some merlot and croatina.
Despite some rain in mid-September (which was positive after a long drought) the harvest continued normally, beginning with the red grapes from our younger vines. We then continued with the harvest of grapes from the oldest vines, until the 8th of October, while the white grapes garganega and marcobona from Cavaion were picked on October 15, the date of the end of harvest.
The grapes for the production of the Bardolino wines were: 39% corvinone, 21% rondinella, 20% corvina and 20% merlot.
The harvest took place about 15 days earlier than the harvest in 2008, with peak temperatures during the ripening period of over 35C. This resulted in musts which were very rich in sugar and with low acidity levels, in line with the 'trend of recent vintages.
2009 will be remembered for the advance that has characterized every stage of vegetative growth. This was substantially more than in previous years. The winter began with standard temperatures. We experienced some cold spells with snowfalls concentrated in a few days from the beginning of January until early February. In March we had a gradual rise in temperature, reaching almost 20C on the 23rd March - typical spring weather! Then in mid-April, temperatures reached about 25 ° C, resulting in a rapid budding of the vines. This led to 10 days of the vines budding, which forced us to intervene early with our pesticide treatments (the first carried out April 22nd) and all the necessary handwork that accompanies this stage in the vineyards. The weather in late May was already hot and caused the vines to flower early by the end of the month. The blooming coincided with the first real heat (35°C on May 26th) which then persisted for the entire month of June. Earlier in this month, we intervened with the first irrigation rescue. The grape varieties began ripening from early to mid-July. The maturation therefore coincided with the end of summer and temperatures typical of this season. Removing the leaves, (a manual operation generally done in this period) was not performed to avoid exposing the grapes for several days at temperatures that were exceeding 30C.
Bardolino and Valdadige
The maturation here was a gradual process and we started picking the barbera grapes for drying on 7th September. This was followed by corvina and sangiovese from the Calcarole hill. Starting on the 19th September and continuing until the end of the month, we harvested the corvinone from Pigozzara.
These grapes were very beautiful and enjoyed a good start to the drying process, with warm temperatures and dry humidity conditions.
The grapes we selected for Amarone comprised of 50% corvinone, 21% rondinella, 10% corvina plus some small amounts of sangiovese and barbera. Compared to recent vintages, there is less corvina, which was a result of the sunburn on the grapes in the summer.
From 24th September, we picked fresh grapes, starting with the corvina of Pezza. Unusually that was the first year that we picked the corvina before the merlot. This choice was forced on us by the summer drought, which badly affected the merlot.
From September 30th to October 16th we picked the vineyards Calcarole, Tomenighe, Vigolo, Pigozzara and Pojega. These grapes from these vineyards were healthy with good sugar content, high pH and a total acidity, which was sometimes lower than we normally experience, especially in varieties corvina and rondinella.
The harvest was completed with the vineyard of corvina in Pojega on 16th October.
The grapes for the production of Valpolicella, and Clos Pojega Roareti were: 39% corvinone, 21% rondinella, 20% corvina and 20% merlot.
As a result of the summer temperatures, 2009 will be remembered as anything but an easy vintage. Nevertheless it has given us some great grapes, which will produce full-bodied and concentrated wines. This was mainly due to the hard work we did in the vineyard, which was instrumental in enabling us to pick perfectly ripe, not over ripe, grapes.
SoaveThe area of Soave closely followed the climatic and phenological cycle of the other estates. The harvest began on august 26th at dawn with the chardonnay and continued through to September 23rd with the grapes that were to be dried for our Recioto di Soave. We ended the harvest between the 7-8th of October and October 14th in the oldest vineyards of Costeggiola, with temperatures that were much lower than the average for this period. The grapes for the production of Soave were: 77% garganega, 21% chardonnay and trebbiano di Soave. The garganega had higher sugar levels than in previous years and exhibited a satisfactory level of quality, which gives us the belief that this is a good year for our Soave