Tuscan harvest watch
Welcome to the first Tuscan-wide online diary which gives a day by day account of the grape harvest in Tuscany. After the success of the first eight seasons of Tuscan Harvest Watch, the reports on 2020 are here. The stories of the earlier years are here: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.
Many thanks to the wineries that have agreed to let us know how the harvest is proceeding. The wineries have been chosen to give a broad view of the season in key areas of Tuscany. From north to south the featured areas are: Chianti Rufina, Chianti Classico, Bolgheri, Val d’Orcia, Montalcino, Montepulciano and the upper and lower Maremma.
Many things affect the growth of the vines and the harvest – proximity to the Apennines mountains and to the sea, height above sea level, different soils, prevailing winds, and more. In other words, terroir is just as much a feature of Tuscany as it is of Bordeaux.
The weather in the various parts of Tuscany is affected by altitude and by proximity to the sea. Below are two sample forecasts. Radda is in the high Chianti hills at 550m above sea level. You can clearly see that nights tend to be cooler in Radda and hence the wine from here is more elegant with higher acidity levels. By contrast, the vineyards at the foot of the hill town of Massa Marittima are just 20 km from the sea and at an altitude of 160-220m. Correspondingly the wine from here (or from Bolgheri virtually on the coast and just 70m of altitude) is fuller-bodied and weightier.
|I Veroni, Pontassieve, Chianti Rufina
Winefriend on I Veroni – attractive Rufina
|Caparsa, Radda, Chianti Classico
Winefriend on Caparsa – Chianti vertical
|Campo alla Sughera, Bolgheri
|Massa Vecchia, Massa Marittima
Winefriend on Special places: Massa Vecchia
Tuscan harvest watch producers
|Cantine Contucci, Montepulciano
Winefriend on Contucci: at the heart of Montepulciano
|Gianni Brunelli, Montalcino
Winefriend on: Gianni (and Laura) Brunelli
|Capitoni, Pienza, Val d’Orcia
Winefriend on Capitoni: Mixed farming and viticulture
Winefriend on Sassotondo – retreat to the land
Tuscany: the featured wineries
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