2007 GROWING YEAR
As far as the harvest is concerned, 2007 will certainly be remembered as the earliest year of the last thirty.
The growing year could be described as atypical and hot and arid with respect to the spring, while summer and autumn were normal.
To pin down the reasons for the earliness, one must start with the winter, which was particularly warm compared to the historical norm, and these conditions prevented the vines from completely shutting down their growth activity.
Such mild conditions brought about weeping (third decade of February) and budbreak (mid-March) earlier than anyone could remember previously.
Spring weather was indeed unusual, bringing high temperatures and a complete absence of rain for over 40 days between March and April, which further speeded up the growth phases, so much so that flowering (May 8-20) began and finished extremely quickly. Fruit set too occurred early (late May), almost a month sooner than the average growing year.
From this point on however, the weather changed, but instead of the hot, dry conditions that had been predicted from experiences at the beginning of the year, we witnessed moderate rainfall and a drop in temperatures, particularly at night.
Veraison started during the first days of July, and then, under the influence of the changed weather conditions, growth began to slow.
One result was that the berries grew larger and heavier, promising a larger crop, particularly in certain varieties, such as tocai friulano and certain cultivars of sauvignon blanc. Cluster-thinning, necessary to ensure a balance between the amount of fruit and the vine’s overall leaf surface, was performed early, during the last ten days of June. Leaf-pulling, which is normally practiced in order to increase the clusters’ exposure to light, was reduced, being directed at only a few varieties, such as chardonnay, malvasia istriana, and tocai friulano.
Harvest itself began during the last ten days of August, some three weeks earlier than the norm.
To draw a comparison with the last 18 growing years, one could say that 2007 recalls, in certain respects, and from the point of view of the early harvest, the year 2003. Considering the weather conditions that most heavily influence the quality of the fruit, however, the period that runs from veraison through ripeness, then this growing season was in line with the historical average.