"A good wine year is emerging in Veneto, but I cannot hide the concerns of the entire sector linked to what may be the responses of the markets, both nationally and internationally in the near future.
The difficulties due to the pandemic for Covid19 are in fact affecting the entire agricultural sector, but for the wine sector, given that only exports to our region are worth over two billion euros, the difficulties can become major concerns. For this reason the Veneto Region has already decided to implement the resources to be used for the promotion of our wines in third countries ". This was said by the Minister of Agriculture of Veneto, Giuseppe Pan Region, speaking at the first focus of the Triptych Vitivinicolo initiative, promoted by Veneto Agriculture, with the Region, AVEPA, Arpav, CREA-Venice and Padua University, which took place this morning - with large participation of operators - online on the Zoom platform due to the restrictions due to the emergency for Coronavirus.
"In our Region - confirmed Alberto Negro , Extraordinary Commissioner of Veneto Agriculture - the 2020 wine year could give great satisfactions to the producers since, at the moment, the situation in the vineyards is almost everywhere good from a phytosanitary point of view. It will almost certainly be an early harvest of a few days compared to 2019 and above all medium-high in terms of quantity " . With these very first advances, the now historic Veneto Wine Triptych opened online this morning, a highly anticipated event involving most of the operators in the sector. And precisely for this reason the memory of the recent untimely death of Bepi Catarin , former regional manager of the wine sector, to whom a scholarship will be dedicated, has been strong for everyone, said Councilor Pan, while Veneto Agricoltura has decided to own it the "Triptych", a project in which Catarin was a strong supporter and active participant.
As mentioned, at the moment the Veneto vineyard shows that it is in good health , the vegetation appears almost everywhere healthy and there are no problems with downy mildew , one of the diseases that most worries winemakers. Some more anxiety is instead caused by the golden flavescence and above all by the Pinot Grigio virosis , given that some Glera vineyards are attacked by this disease. However, the overall picture for almost all the varieties of grapes present in the various suitable areas of the Veneto is satisfactory , so much so that the first indications - as Diego Tomasi of CREA-VE recalled at the online meeting - confirm that that of 2020 it will certainly not be a "low" vintage, that is, with little production, apart from Pinot Grigio and probably some black grape varieties .
Let's see, in summary, what the situation is today in the various provinces of Veneto.
The precious vineyards of Valpolicella are in good condition, remarked also Olga Bussinello , director of the Protection Consortium. From a phytosanitary point of view, the situation is satisfactory and there are no particular pathologies. However, it will be necessary to evaluate what the possible consequences will be on the grapes due to the abundant rainfall of the last few days. Even hail struck several vineyards locally, in particular in the Municipality of San Pietro in Cariano, but fortunately the hectares concerned are "only" about 150. Good expectations also in terms of quantity, with a production that should be positioned on average over the years more interesting.
The effort has yet to begin, recalls Aldo Lorenzoni, director of the Soave Consortium, but the situation in the vineyard is currently serene, normal and free of particular phytosanitary concerns. The rainfall has fortunately arrived "quiet", ie without those dangerous water bombs that have been seen several times in the past or worse still the harmful hailstorms. Also from a quantitative point of view, the 2020 vintage in the Soave area is interesting, in case we will need to intervene in the selection of the vineyards for the DOC.
Positive situation also in the Vicenza area , in particular for the white grape varieties, Garganega and Sauvignon above all; the early Pinot and Chardonnay varieties are slightly suffering, for which a slight drop in yield is expected. Giovanni Ponchia , director of the Consorzio di Tutela Colli Berici e Vicenza, reminds us that the season is also favorable for Tai Rosso with a good uniformity and conformation of future bunches. Some difficulties in the different phenological phases have been registered for Cabernet. The harvest could begin 7-10 days earlier than last year. Fortunately, the rains of these days have restored the water reserves and above all there have been no hail phenomena.
In the area of the Euganean Hills - the participants via Zoom reserved a special greeting to the Cantina di Vo, the technician Roberto Toniolo , for the Coronavirus events -, the rains of the last few days have fortunately alleviated a situation that was dangerously complicating. In fact, in the vineyards not served by artificial irrigation the effects of drought began to be felt. The positive side of this prolonged water shortage - remember that on the Padua hills it had not rained since the end of March, as highlighted by Francesco Rech , of the Arpav Meteorological Service, in its exhaustive report dedicated to the weather trend of the first half of 2020 - is given by the almost total absence of particular pathologies in the vineyard, with the consequent drastic reduction of the feared phytosanitary interventions. However, the overall picture is excellent both in terms of the health of the grapes and in the phenological one. Monitoring is now being organized with the use of traps to understand how and when to intervene. Some concerns come, also in this area, from the Pinot Grigio virus which is mainly affecting the new Glera plants. However, the technicians point out that the bunches of grapes from the vineyards of the Euganean Hills are forming homogeneously. However, a drop in production is expected due both to the aforementioned drought, and to a drop in temperatures recorded in early April which have interfered with the budding, not only of the early varieties (Chardonnay) but also of Pinot Grigio, Glera, Merlot and red wines in general, for which production is expected to drop by 20%.
To date, in the Eastern Veneto , a vineyard in such good condition has not been seen for many years, word of Stefano Quaggio director of the Venice Wine Consortium. Sorry for those vineyards hit in recent days by a violent hailstorm, in particular in the Municipalities of Godega Sant'Urbano and Codognè, also destroyed for 80-90%. The advance of 8-10 days, compared to last year, of the vegetative recovery announced in recent days has therefore been slowed down by the wave of rains in recent days. However, this is not compromising an absolutely satisfactory overall picture, considering that at the moment in the Eastern Veneto area there are no particular pathologies, starting from the most feared ones such as late blight and powdery mildew. Here, too, the presence of the golden flavescence is noted, against which, however, action is being taken with the forced struggle envisaged by the Veneto Region. The productions of Pinot Grigio, Tocai, Lison, Raboso and of the other typical varieties of the Eastern Veneto area are therefore announced in the norm, considering that the post flowering legation is at the moment good, with elongated bunches. In terms of quantity, the 2020 vintage may be slightly lower than in 2019.
Even the vineyards of the extensive production area of Prosecco DOC (Glera), which extends from Vicenza to Trieste, are in good health today. The 180 quintals per hectare provided for in the specification - Andrea Battistella of the Prosecco DOC Consortium recalled - should be reached, despite lower fertility than last year, especially in the Treviso area and the Conegliano area, but the size of the bunches is exceptional , reaching in some cases even 30 cm. These two notes therefore suggest that the yields will be normal this year. It is interesting to note that this lower fertility of the Glera has distant roots, specifically in the negative climatic trend recorded in the month of May 2019, when the buds differed. The consequences on the 2020 vintage, in particular in the Sylvoz breeding systems, are highlighted with a scarcity of bunches present in the upper part of the vegetation and a strong concentration in the final part of the arch, corresponding to the buds that have differentiated in the last part of May - beginning of June 2019, when the weather conditions had changed. In essence, the buds corresponding to the 8th, 10th, 12th bud of the bow are those that this year are the most fruitful, confirming how nature has gone hand in hand, almost day by day, with the weather conditions of last year. Unfortunately, the rainfall of these days does not allow to defend the vineyard from late blight, so all you have to do is cross your fingers and wait for the sun.
The recording of the event will be available on the Veneto Agricoltura social profile