A guide to the 2016 harvest: Italy

Scenes from the 2016 harvest in ItalyThe world’s largest producer this year, Italy has been dubbed one of the main ‘winners’ of 2016, with the country enjoying slightly better growing conditions than its European counterparts. Despite being the biggest producer, Italy’s harvest is still down around 2%, while quality is generally good.

Here is a round-up of the harvest:



The region’s overall volume is expected to be similar to that of 2015. Bisol, our premium Prosecco producer in Valdobbiadene DOCG, dubbed 2016 as a very good year for quality. “Despite a difficult flowering period impacted by spring rains, the health and weather conditions during ripening were optimal. The aromatic ripeness and acid balance is excellent this year,” says Roberto Cremonese.


Production in Piedmont-Lombardia is expected to be up 5% on last year, with good quality across the board. Piemontese producer Mondodelvino explains, “Flowering started a little later than normal, followed by a period of stable weather conditions. Nebbiolo for Barolo was harvested during mid-October, with the overall yields stable.”


Although harvest was delayed by around 10 days, 2016 is expected to produce excellent quality, with a slight increase in yields. Celita Ravaioli of Poderi dal Nespoli in Romagna says, “Harvest in Romagna is a celebration, with its aromas, emotions, people and wise working hands. It is a hard time, but full of satisfaction. Thanks to the ideal range of atmospheric temperature changes – ranging between hot and sunny conditions, colder periods and the right amount of rain – aromas will be intense and 2016 can be defined as an excellent harvest in terms of quality. Yields are also expected to be around 5% higher than the year before.”

“This year reminds me of the 2006 harvest: we had well-structured, elegant and perfumed wines and are expecting the same again,” says Celita.


Although yields are expected to be 3-5% lower than 2015, quality looks to be good. Dante Cecchini of Castello Banfi says, “The harvest conditions for our Pinot Grigio San Angelo were excellent and the quality is outstanding. As for the ‘king’ Sangiovese, owing to the excellent temperature variations between night and day, it ripened perfectly, despite the harvest being around 10 days later than usual.”


For Cantina del Vermentino, this year can be compared to the classic, beautiful harvests of the 80s and 90s. Dante Cecchini says, “A very dry spring and summer was balanced by relatively mild temperatures, without any of the torrid heatwaves of the last few years. The optimal weather conditions allowed for a balanced ripening season, with very healthy fruit. This vintage should produce great fresh, crisp and aromatic Vermentino wines.”


While Sicily’s overall output is down around 10-15% this year, quality looks to be excellent, perhaps the best for eight years.


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5th December 2016

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