2011 GROWING YEAR
2011 was a fairly balanced growing year with respect to weather conditions, with an overall tendency to a typically warm and dry Mediterranean climate.
A classic cold winter inaugurated the season, which extended into March, with severe conditions caused by strong easterly winds. As has often happened in recent years, the weather changed abruptly, and in April we experienced a temperature eruption, with highs reaching even 28°C, which brought about a rapid but consistent budbreak among the different grape varieties (15-20 April). The weather held beautiful into May, which positively impacted vine growth, so the vines made up for the slight growth delay caused by the cold in late winter. The impact of significantly warm weather and a lack of rainfall resulted in flowering during 15-20 May in all of the varieties almost simultaneously; that stage concluded with fruit set in little less than a week (28-30 May). Rainfall finally arrived, in June, and was fairly heavy in the first half of the month; replenishment of groundwater reserves brought new vigour to the foliar apparatus, which developed just the right degree of luxuriance and pigmentation. The berries thus increased in size, producing clusters that by 20 June were already tight and compact, particularly in some varieties, such as pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. July saw the return of high heat and dry conditions, which are normal for that period in our area. Veraison first appeared in the pinot grigio mid-month, and so about a week early historically. Heavy rainstorms starting 22 July slowed colour development in the berries, but they recovered their rhythm with the fine weather that followed. The first part of August brought optimal conditions for ripening, with hot, sunny days and cool nights, but mid-month brought high temperatures, even at night, which hindered increases in berry weight and even slightly dehydrated them. August 2011 stood out for bringing the least amount of rainfall in recent years, a mere 5mm over against a historical average of 134mm. Harvest began on 23 August in the sauvignon blanc, a little less than one week earlier than the norm. Picking continued into September for the other varieties, under ideal weather conditions, allowing us to carry out operations in line with our needs and resources instead of being forced to adapt to inclement weather.
Looking for comparisons with other growing seasons, we could say that 2009, 2008, and 2006 brought fairly similar summer weather, without however implying that the sensory qualities of the fruit or wine will be the same. Overall, we would say that 2011 could be classified as one of the growing years exhibiting a good crop and fruit concentration, in which perfect degrees of fruit soundness and ripeness contributed substantially to fine varietal fidelity and to richly-flavoured palates in the wines.