Harvest 2022 just kicked off in Sicily
3 August 2022
Palermo, August 3rd 2022 – Excellent and healthy grapes, excellent vegetative-productive state, absence of water stress. These are the premises of the harvest in Sicily, currently underway in the western part of the island, in the territories that fall within the provinces of Palermo and Trapani.
The longest harvest in Italy – on average over 100 days – will end in November in the highest altitudes of Etna.
The harvest kicks off with the collection of the sparkling wine base, and then continue with the international varietals such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, followed by the native varietals.
The good news for Sicilian wine comes from the climatic and phytosanitary front. Thanks to a mild winter, no frost in spring, the weather was regular, the temperatures recorded are in line with 2020 and 2021. The winter rains soaked the soils and filled the reservoirs, a sunny summer climate with low humidity blocked the spread of the main diseases of the vine. All this has brought the grapes to a healthy and excellent phytosanitary state.
According to the forecasts, the production estimates is going to be in line with 2021: it will not be a very productive year, but certainly more productive than the two-year period 2019/2020, which was below the regional average.
“Despite the heat, we can say that qualitatively the grapes are excellent” – comments Filippo Buttafuoco, agronomist of Cantine Settesoli.
“The plants used a lot of the reserves accumulated during the winter period. At this time we do not notice water stress – adds Francesco Spadafora, owner of the Dei Principi di Spadafora winery.
For Alessandro di Camporeale, “overall the quantities are on the average and the quality is very high, given the absence of diseases”. Duca di Salaparuta winery adds: “We do not see a decrease in quantity and quality for native grapes”.
The harvest is also underway at the Contessa Entellina estate in Donnafugata, with the first grapes harvested for the production of the Classic Method sparkling wine base.
“The premises for the 2022 harvest in Donnafugata are good thanks to the regular climatic conditions that have been recorded so far and the sustainable quality-oriented agricultural practices implemented”.
“The data of the last two harvests – with an ever higher quality – and the forecasts of the 2022 harvest, confirm that Sicily shows a good resistance to the increasingly evident climate changes, thanks to its position in the heart of the Mediterranean, to its microclimates, its terroirs and indigenous varieties ”- comments the president of Assovini Sicilia, Laurent de la Gatinais. Assovini Sicilia wants to be a pioneer in guiding, with new models, the future of Sicilian viticulture and developing new knowledge and know-how capable of facing the challenges associated with climate change “.
If the drought is bringing the North to its knees, Sicily proves to be more resilient and prepared.
“Sicilian agriculture has always had to face the problem of water supply and, probably for this reason, we are better able than other regions to cope with the drought of the summer period” – says Aurora Ursino – Sicilian agronomist, elected best Italian agronomist in 2021.
“I feel I can say with certainty that Sicilian producers are” turning “towards an increasingly sustainable agriculture, aiming no longer at the quantity but at the quality of the grapes. Adopting sustainable agronomic techniques, as well as adequate pruning, training systems and rootstocks suitable for the soil and climatic environment of the area, is the only possible tool to be able to adequately cope with drought and the effect of climate change ”- concludes Aurora Ursino.