A growing season in the norm, and the broad fluctuation in daily temperatures the last weeks of August accompanied by frequent rainfalls, after over six weeks of dry weather, have prompted a widely shared opinion that 2016 will be a very good harvest. A quality that is further sustained by the foresight demonstrated in recent policymaking decisions aimed at a correct governance of the appellation.
The forecast for the Soave harvest is positive. Winter 2015/2016 did not have much rainfall, except during the month of February, with seasonal temperatures above average. The growing season began on a positive note for the garganega, Soave’s most cultivated variety, with bud-break arriving a few days earlier than usual. The weather remained optimal throughout May. The flowering during June, instead, was affected by extremely heavy rainfalls during the first half of the month, causing an uneven development of the berries in some of the future bunches.
Some vineyards also suffered the appearance of downy mildew and oidium, which was completely eradicated by dry weather throughout July, accompanied by mild seasonal temperatures.
Precipitations returned with regularity during the month of August, which helped achieve a complete ripening of the grapes.
The 2016 vintage can be defined as a combination of the last two seasons: on one hand, an optimal management of the sanitary emergencies, similar to 2015, and on the other, the rainfalls in June and August that facilitated the normal photosynthesis and development of the garganega’s vegetation.
The broad fluctuation between diurnal and nocturnal temperatures was another important factor which normally favours the development of a more interesting, floral bouquet during the final stage of ripening.
At the moment of harvest, the vineyards have remained untouched by hail, with healthy grapes, and a good vegetative balance. The yields are not high, and the overall composition of the grapes is within the average of the latest vintages for sugars and acidity, but with more potential for other components.
A preliminary analysis of the grapes, leads us to expect more “classic” wines, with their typically predominant floral and mineral notes. On the basis of this seasonal forecast, the Consorzio has decided, in accordance with the board and members, to limit the yields for both Soave and the Soave Classico, to protect and reinforce the perceived value of the production.
The harvest is at the doorstep, ready to gather the fruit and labor of the 5.600 hectares of vineyards, of which 4.400 in the Soave DOC and 1.200 in the Soave Classico, for a total of 430.000 hectoliters of wine, which will become the 55 million bottles that will spread the word about the quality of this vintage throughout the world.