ASSOVINI SICILIA: 2015, EXCELLENT YEAR FOR AUTOCHTONOUS AND INTERNATIONAL VARIETIES
The harvest is nearly complete for native and non-native varieties. Throughout the island, the forecast is for wines with great balance between softness, acidity and freshness.
As the harvest in Sicily nears completion, the producers associated with Assovini Sicily are confirming the validity of their 2015 forecasts. In addition to an overall increase in yield, which characterizes this vintage, the weather conditions have favored ideal ripening for both native and international varieties. The first tastings in the cellars have coincided with expectations for high quality wines with developed aromas and a perfect balance between acidity and freshness.
The first corroboration has come from the area of Vittoria (RG) where the rains in August could have created problems, but did not because the berries were still green. Here the Feudo di Santa Tresa winery had a perfect harvest of their prized red varieties, Frappato, Cerasuolo and the rare Perricone, and also recorded a 10% increase over last year of the white varieties Grillo, Viognier and Fiano.
Higher yields were also seen at the Feudo Arancio estates in the provinces of Agrigento and Ragusa, on the windy southern coast of the island. Early tastings show evidence of whites with slightly lower acidity compared to recent vintages, to the advantage of richer structures and softness. In particular, the 2015 vintage proved ideal for autochthonous varieties, which did not suffer the July heat, but flourished, yielding excellent results. After a spring with above average temperatures, July brought temperatures with maximums peaking above 38° C. For a brief time during August, it was followed by a sudden change in weather conditions with rain and cooler temperatures. However, neither of these extreme conditions, nor the turbulence on September 9th that caused flooding in Northeast Sicily, complicated the ripening of the grapes. The heavy August and September rainfalls provided the moisture needed to rehydrate the stressed vines after the July heatwave.
At the Lombardo Wines estate, with vineyards at 600 meters above sea level in the Caltanisetta province, the harvest is not quite complete but the results are already more than satisfactory. They have announced a 10% increase and an average yield of 75%. The whites currently in the making, are showing good quality accompanied by a balanced development of the characteristics typical of each grape variety, whether international or native. The results in the cellar have also been made possibile by the particularly favorable climatic conditions: spring rainfall followed by dry, hot weather spells. The intense precipitations which arrived in August allowed a perfect continuation of the ripening without compromising the quality of the grapes.
Excellent forecasts have also been made for the autochthonous varietals cultivated organically by Feudo Solaria in “microzones” on a hilly area of Mamertino (ME). The wine estate produces a red and white blend. Inzolia, Grillo and Catarratto are used in the Solleria white blend, all of which benefited from favorable climatic conditions. Rainfall was well paced throughout springtime followed by significant temperature swings between day and night during the summer.
The 2015 harvest promises to be good not only for white wines, but also for the reds which will complete harvest in October, confirming early September forecasts.