2009 GROWING YEAR
2009 presented us with a growing year with balanced temperatures and rainfall, tending towards hot, dry weather.
The year opened with temperatures that were high for the season, encouraging a quick and even budbreak, which began on April 11 for the early-budding varieties and on the 26th for the late-growing varieties.
The same held true for flowering, which started on May 20 and finished in just ten days, thanks to favourable temperatures and limited rainfall.
Early summer saw temperatures slightly below seasonal averages, due to several instances of heavy rains. Temperatures began to climb, though, on July 12, and reached average seasonal levels.
Veraison began on July 20th for the early ripeners, such as pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc, while malvasia istriana and merlot waited until the 25th to start.
August brought high temperatures and light rains, reversing the trend of recent years, in which rainstorms brought an early end to summer-like weather.
The harvesting, which kicked off in late August, took place in hot weather with no rainfall. The weather changed only after the first ten days of October, with a drop in minimum daily temperatures, which reached 0oC on some days.
Summarising the weather conditions, the 2009 growing season can be characterised as a typically temperate Mediterranean season. The vines were able to benefit from some moderate rainfall, particularly in late summer, and from some high temperatures, which however were complemented by significant day-night temperature swings. In fact, during July-August the differences between maximum and minimum figures amounted to 12-13oC, which is an increase of 1.8oC compared to the average over the last decade.
VITICULTURE AND WINEMAKING CONSIDERATIONS
The extended periods of fine weather and moderate rainfall rendered vineyard operations relatively easy. In fact, such environmental conditions markedly discouraged the onset of the classic fungal attacks, so that containment treatments were kept to a minimum. Conditions of strong sunlight counselled constraint in leaf-pulling, to avoid sunburn on the leaves and a decrease in aromatic compounds in the grapes.
Favourable weather conditions brought forward by two weeks all of the growth stages up until fruit set, which then became just one week as far as ripening, due to the hot weather in August.
Sauvignon blanc was harvested starting in the last days of August, when pinot grigio was ready for picking. During the first ten days of September, chardonnay and tocai friulano were brought in, then in mid-month it was the turn of malvasia istriana.
In considering the quality level and the characteristics of this year’s wines there is a certain similarity with those of those of the preceding year, even if the weather conditions were not the same. More precisely, the 2009 wines display a suite of aromatics in which a heightened minerality renders the fruit more vibrant and youthful.