Romagna

How to Harvest?

Apparently the answer to this question would seem to be simple and obvious.

But why is it important to know some of the details linked to the harvest? Why these may seriously affect the quality of the wine and on its value?

In the meantime, let’s speak about the conformation of the vineyards.

In Italy, the “training system” may differ according to the variation in the characteristics of the terrain and the climate.

It is true, it does seem strange to speak about training in regard to vines, but for “training system” we mean the shape that the plant will take on.

In Italy they are:

  • Sapling(or goblet): The vine has little foliage (with the absence of guides), the pruning generally is short.
  • Pergola: the support structure for the vine is situated transversally between the rows and there is no permanent cordon (or the lateral branch in respect to the stump)
  • Marquee: The support structure is situated longways or crossways, there is no permanent cordon and the heads of the fruit develop horizontally. Also in this case the pruning is mixed.

 

  • Bellusera: the brace is provided with ascending arms, along which permanent cordons develop. The heads of the fruit are in a descending position, the pruning is mixed and the vegetation is partly free and partly forced.

 

  • Espalier:also called "counter-espalier", it has the characteristic of having the support structure placed horizontally and along the row. Depending on the pruning system used, it takes different names (Guyot, Spurred Cordon, Sylvoz, etc.).

 

Then, also the makeup of the soil has an effect. For example, in hill country it is not always easy to carry out the harvest.

To cultivate vines in many regions of Italy where there are steep hills, terracing is created with stone walls  that retain the cultivated soil, forming a kind of stairway that follows the curve of the hill or mountain.

This explanation helps to understand why some Ligurian, Valtellina or Campania wines have higher prices, prices that reflect the costs incurred, not only for the annual maintenance, but also for the labour required to effect the harvest.

This introduces us to another aspect of the harvest: manual or mechanized?

The manual harvest guarantees a higher quality of the grapes harvested and of the final product.

The harvester, in fact, thanks to his experience and knowledge, can choose with greatest care the grapes that are found in the best condition and that have reached the level of maturity ideal for the production of a determined type of wine.

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Furthermore,the manual harvest preserves the integrity of the individual grape, reducing the risk of dangerous damage to the fruit, with the consequent spillage of the must, and protecting the grape from dangerous oxidation phenomena that would compromise the quality of the wine. 

All this depends on the ability, the precision and the sensitivity of the harvester. For example, in the use of small containers that avoid too much crushing of the bunches or ensuring that the wagon into which the grapes are loaded doesn’t heat up too much provoking fermentation of the grape.

Mechanical harvesting is achieved with the use of special machines, called “grape-pickers” that collect the bunches of grapes by stripping the plant.

Compared with the manual method, this kind of harvest considerably reduces both the harvesting time - because the machine  is quicker and is able to reap a greater quantity of grapes in a smaller time period - and the labour and production costs.

One can well understand that how the grapes are harvested should be taken into consideration when evaluating the quality and value of the wine.

Tenuted’Italia wines are all produced with grapes harvested by hand in order to better preserve the grapes and the successive processes of fermentation.

When does the harvest normally begin? There is no set date. Fundamentally, the experienced winegrowers, before fixing a start date, make all the necessary analyses to verify the characteristics of the grape (ph, polyphenols etc). According to the type of grape and the level of maturation that one wants to achieve, generally the harvest period runs from August to November.

This year, for example, we at Tenute dItalia, after having effected the analyses, established that the Pignoletto, the grape with which we produce the ISTRIONE and the PIGNOLETTO spumante, had all the optimum values for harvesting. So in the middle of August our team started the manual harvest.

Santerno pignoletto spumante 03r

The next phase of the harvest is the winemaking. Remember how one achieves “Red vinification” and “White vinification”?

Click on the link below and have a good read!

 

[Our] Red Vinification: The Grapes - part 1

[Our] White Vinification: Harvesting - part 1

Why is the grape harvest in Italy such an important event?

I vini romagnoli: un insieme perfetto di gusto e tradizione

Romagna wines

Un buon vino ha la capacità di trasmettere, grazie ai suoi sapori caratteristici, la storia della terra in cui viene prodotto. La lavorazione del vino è un processo complesso e delicato, che richiede tempo e dedizione e che si concentra principalmente sul mantenimento delle qualità del luogo d’appartenenza: la terra di provenienza emerge sempre nei vini che decidiamo di assaporare, soprattutto quando parliamo del territorio romagnolo.

I vini di Romagna nascono infatti in una terra operosa, ricca di persone che vogliono tramandare la cultura della vite di padre in figlio, mantenendo di conseguenza attività principalmente familiari.

La regione Emilia-Romagna possiede una superficie vitata superiore a 50mila ettari, che ricopre tutto il territorio in maniera uniforme, da Piacenza a Rimini.

La struttura geologica del territorio romagnolo è fondamentale nella produzione del vino: i terreni collinari del nostro Appennino sono composti da un bilanciamento perfetto di argilla, limo e calcare, fondamentali soprattutto per la produzione di vini rossi di qualità.

La vite infatti non richiede terreni particolarmente fertili: le caratteristiche del terreno più importanti per la sua coltivazione riguardano piuttosto il drenaggio, che permette alla pianta di non rimanere troppo a contatto con l’acqua e i sali minerali.

Un terreno come quello presente nella superficie romagnola quindi riesce ad assorbire l’acqua, cedendola gradualmente alle radici, grazie alla presenza dell’argilla, responsabile inoltre della sua compattezza e plasticità.  

I terreni calcareo-argillosi come quelli che caratterizzano il territorio romagnolo danno vita a vini di grande qualità.

Le zone di produzione più importanti dei vini romagnoli si suddividono tra le province di Ravenna, Rimini, Forlì-Cesenae il circondario di Imola, e le loro terre danno vita a prodotti rinomati ovunque, primo tra tutti il Sangiovese, considerato il Re dei vini romagnoli.

Dietro allo stesso appellativo del Sangiovese si sprecano storie e leggende: secondo alcuni il nome deriverebbe dal Sanctus Giove, il Dio dei Romani, mentre per altri è da ricondurre a Sanguis Jovis, il sangue di Giove, nome dato dai monaci cappuccini di un convento sul Monte Giove, proprio a Santarcangelo di Romagna.

Indipendentemente dalla storia, quello che sappiamo noi è che il Sangiovese è oggi il vitigno a bacca rossa più coltivato d’Italia, rappresentando un vanto non solo all’interno della nostra penisola ma anche all’estero.

Tenute d’Italia tenta ci consolidare sempre di più il rapporto indissolubile tra cultura e vino, trasformando il prodotto finale in una congiunzione perfetta di questi due “ingredienti”.

Il segreto è quello di sfruttare completamente le caratteristiche uniche nel territorio romagnolo, rendendo i vini impossibili da emulare: basti pensare alla Tenuta Santerno, capace di sfruttare una storia geologica straordinaria caratterizzata dalla presenza della Vena di Gesso Romagnola, l’elemento più distintivo della valle omonima.

Tenuta Santerno è solo uno dei brand di riferimento di Tenute d’Italia: ogni tenuta è caratterizzata da una vera e propria venerazione per la cultura del territorio, grazie alla quale i vini che vengono offerti riescono a mantenere quel gusto tradizionale che li contraddistingue.

Romagna wines: a combination of taste and tradition

A good wine has the ability to transmit, thanks to its characteristic flavors, the history of the land in which it is produced. Wine making is a complex and delicate process, which requires time and dedication and which focuses mainly on maintaining the quality of the place of origin: the land of origin always emerges in the wines we decide to taste, especially when we talk about the Romagna area.

Romagna wines are in fact born in an industrious land, rich in people who want to pass on the culture of the vine from father to son, thus maintaining mainly family activities.

The Emilia-Romagna region has an area of ​​over 50 thousand hectares planted with vines, which uniformly covers the whole territory, from Piacenza to Rimini.

The geological structureof the Romagna area is fundamental in the production of wine: the hilly lands of our Apennines are composed of a perfect balance of clay, silt and limestone, essential above all for the production of quality red wines.

In fact, the vine does not require particularly fertile soils: the most important characteristics of the soil for its cultivation concern rather the drainage, which allows the plant not to remain too much in contact with water and mineral salts.

Soil such as that present in the Romagna surface is therefore able to absorb water, gradually yielding it to the roots, thanks to the presence of clay, which is also responsible for its compactness and plasticity.

The calcareous-clayey soils such as those that characterize the Romagna area, give life to wines of great quality.

The most important production areas of Romagna wines are divided between the provinces of Ravenna, Rimini, Forlì-Cesena and the Imola district, and their lands give life to renowned products everywhere, first of all Sangiovese, considered the King of local wines.

Many are the stories and legends behind the same name of Sangiovese: according to some, the name derives from the Sanctus Giove, the God of the Romans, while for others it is attributable to Sanguis Jovis, the “blood of Jupiter” in Latin, name given by the Capuchin monks of a convent on the Monte Giove, right in Santarcangelo di Romagna.

Regardless of history, what we know is that Sangiovese is today the most cultivated red grape variety in Italy, representing a pride not only within our peninsula, but also abroad.

Tenute d'Italiaaims at making the everlasting relationship between culture and wine even more indissoluble, transforming the final product into a perfect combination of these two "ingredients".

The secret is to fully exploit the unique characteristics of the Romagna area, thus making the wines impossible to emulate: just think of Santerno Wines, capable of exploiting an extraordinary geological history, characterized by the presence of the Romagna’s Gypsum Vein, the most distinctive element of the homonymous valley.

Tenuta Santerno is just one of Tenute d'Italia's reference brands: each estate is characterized by a real worship for the culture of the territory, thanks to which the wines that are offered manage to maintain that traditional taste that distinguishes them.

Why is the grape harvest in Italy such an important event?

How would you answer this question?

There are various reasons that make the moment of the grape harvest one of the most important events for Italians.

The answer lies somewhere between the economic value and the social value that this moment has in the lives of Italians.

Let’s start with the first: The economic value.

According to the 2021 ISTAT data there are about 255 thousand companies that cultivate 636,000 hectares of vines, of which 46,000 hectares produce not wine grapes but table grapes.

For many years now, this makes Italy the principal wine producer worldwide (about 50 million hectolitres per year) so 19 percent of the world’s wine production, and the second wine exporter of wine in the world, both in quantity and in value. A chain of production, according to Coldiretti, resulting in a revenue of nearly 13 billion euro.

 

Did you know that just 3 of the 20 regions produce 59% of the entire Italian production?

They are Veneto (11.5 million hectolitres), Puglia(10.6 million hectolitres) and Emilia-Romagna(7.4 million hectolitres)

These numbers introduce us to the second aspect that makes the grape harvest so important in Italy: The social value.

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The above are not simply numbers.

Behind the 255,000 wine companies there are many more than 255,000 families that with passion and dedication, day after day, carry forward the objective of producing high quality grapes, to highlight the roots of their territory by means of more than 300 types of native vines. They see the harvest as a moment of collective endeavour and social sharing and the achievement of a goal pursued with great commitment and sacrifice.

As a matter of interest: did you know that the oldest wine in Italy and of the whole Western Mediterranean seems to have been produced near the city of Agrigento nearly 6000 years ago? Our “Stella del Sud” line of wine has the objective of honouring the flavours of this ancient land, rich in history and value.

But returning to the grape harvest, because of the atmospheric conditions, this year it started earlier and the first vineyard which we will focus on will be that of the Pignoletto, about which we spoke in our June article. 

We are confident that our ISTRIONE of the ‘Santerno’ line will unleash a special floral bouquet, maintaining that liveliness and softness that renders it so drinkable.

Santerno Istrione bianco 01r

How does the grape harvest take place and what are some aspects which the winegrowers should note at the harvest stage?

Follow us in the next article!

 

Wine of the Month: ISTRIONE

Pignoletto DOC Spumante Santerno: the perfect wine for a sultry summer

Tenute D'Italia is a trade mark of Morini s.r.l.
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