2006 GROWING YEAR
The 2006 growing season experienced a summer that was at first classically Mediterranean and then became typically continental. Over recent years we have been noticing that our local climate exhibits, ever more frequently, two quite distinct phases that occur in succession: the dry-warm stage arrives earlier (June) than it used to, while the period when we used to experience high temperatures and true summer conditions (late July and early August) is now characterised by cool, rainy days.
Looking at the season in more detail, we had a winter that was particularly cold, with temperatures dropping down to -10°C.
Spring too was particularly cold and rainy, which retarded the start of vine growth and caused irregular budbreak, in particular with Pinot Grigio and Merlot. These conditions continued into flowering, and the result was a lower than average fruit set and thus somewhat loose clusters.
Conversely, June and July saw record heat and lack of rainfall. The fine weather was not enough, however, to allow the vines to make up the time they had lost in the first part of the season, and so even veraison was slightly later than average.
August witnessed very low temperatures and abundant rains, particularly in the first half of the month. This in turn caused some problems in the vineyard, with some attacks of rot and a slowing of the ripening process.
The latter half of August and the first two weeks of September were truly remarkable for the return of typical summer conditions and significant day-night variations in temperature. Good weather continued into autumn, with excellent diurnal temperature swings and no rain, perfect conditions for the harvesting. The return of summer conditions and of high daytime temperatures partially dried out the grapes, particularly the late-ripening varieties, concentrating the juice considerably. The early-ripening varieties, on the other hand, benefited particularly from the slow ripening process conditioned by the cool temperatures and wide day-night differences in early September.