Wine vintage Report for the North & Central Italy: unseasonably early, warm and dry spring, followed by a mild, dry summer and hot August, peaking at 40 degrees during the last couple of weeks. Some rain during the first week of September, remaining warm andwindy until the early harvest, one that favoured early ripening varieties. Sun burn was a risk for those who de-leafed.
Vintage Report for the the South of Italy - the vintage was marked by a dry, hot summer followed by outbreaks of rain during September, paving the way for a small harvest and very promising, fruity wines.
Reports from Barolo: Davide Rosso reported an early harvest (for Nebbiolo). He added that the warmest S/SW facing sites were most at risk from fruit overripeness; otherwise the fruit looked clean and ripe. Timing of the green harvest was important; too early/zealously risks overly inflated fruit. Meanwhile the Barbera performed well; the Dolcetto however seemed to suffer from the hot days and fresh nights.
The 2011 wine vintage for Barolo started promisingly with another deep winter but then, as with most of Europe, March/April/May was unseasonally dry and warm; echoes of the 2007 vintage as the season leapt forward by at least a couple of weeks. Since then it's been a strange summer with hot weeks alternating with cooler fresh days.
There was lots of 'afa' (humidity), important for photosynthesis under hot conditions, but little disease pressure to speak of; storms threatened the worst but never materialised, leaving only a fresh, windy wake. August was consistently hot (30 - 35 degree days) with fresh nights - the opposite of 2010. Yields were normal, nowadays maintained at a regular level through green havest. David Berry Green, Italy Buyer