Vineyards near Santa Maddalena, Bolzano.

Vineyards near Santa Maddalena, Bolzano.

What can we expect from the 2022 vintage in Italy?

Wine industry

After sceptical assessments in the summer of 2022, the mood of Italian winegrowers was allowed to brighten up after all.

If you asked winemakers at the beginning of August 2022 for their assessment of the vintage, they were clearly amongst the majority of sceptical to negative voices throughout Italy. The winter was one of the driest in years, and many areas started the spring with meagre or no water reserves. This was followed by a hot and dry summer in which, apart from isolated thunderstorms, not a drop of rain fell from the sky.

In mid-August, the rain finally came - and the mood of the winegrowers brightened. Stephan Filippi, cellar master at the Bolzano winery, even speaks of one of the best vintages he has brought in in his long career. Unlike in the rest of Italy, South Tyrol had sporadic rainfall in spring and summer, so the vines were never really under stress. In addition, many of the region's vineyards can be irrigated, so Filippi expects powerful red wines that will age very well.

Barolo winemaker Alberto Cordero di Montezemolo (Monfalletto) is surprised at how well the vines have coped with the extreme conditions. The climatic conditions were largely similar to those of the hot vintage of 2003, but the grapes were much fresher and the tannins in the young wines much better integrated: the vines can obviously react better to heat and drought, especially the old vines. But the winegrowers have also learned to no longer plough the soil and defoliation is much more restrained. The mood after the harvest is similarly positive and as expected in other regions such as Tuscany, Apulia or Sicily. So, we can expect great wines from Italy again.

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