difficult water situation that is affecting the wine sector in Northern Italy.
MASSIMO BARBIERI – PRESIDENT OF CANTINE TORREVILLA (OLTREPÒ PAVESE, LOMBARDY)
"The water crisis affecting Oltrepò Pavese is nothing short of dramatic, we are in February but it is as if we were in the middle of May: ditches and canals are completely dry. The snow that has fallen on the peaks in recent months has been too much little to make up for the current lack of water and which will hit us in the next period; it is a critical situation that has been with us since last year, where we recorded a 30-40% drop in production. Vines and plants are already suffering and we are also in difficulty in the pruning activity, where we are struggling to leave the branches for new production.This leaves us particularly worried about the very survival of the plants that have vegetated very little.
By now it seems clear to us that not even in 2023 will we be enjoying an abundant vintage, on the contrary, the situation is becoming increasingly complicated, which is also joined by the problems associated with the very high cost of glass. Sure, energy prices are going down but material costs in general are still going up. I think it is becoming increasingly necessary, especially now with the elections just held, to act to adapt agri-food measures and policies to the current situation, tangible solutions are needed to help an entire sector that has been in difficulty for some time now".
STEFANO QUAGGIO - DIRECTOR OF THE VENICE WINE CONSORTIUM (VENETO)
"The water situation in the denominations protected by the Consorzio Vini Venezia is undoubtedly critical, specifically those of the Piave, Lison-Pramaggiore, and Venice. The scarce rainfall during the winter, rain in the flat and hilly areas and snow in the more in the North, they scare winemakers and producers, especially in view of the arrival of spring and then summer. We will therefore need to monitor the situation in the coming weeks and a water emergency is not excluded in the near future. However, we can consider ourselves lucky in as our territories, especially those of eastern Veneto, are characterized by a soil that manages to retain water in an optimal way.To this morphological factor are added the natural characteristics belonging to the older vines, capable of making up for the lack of water with their root system reaching an important depth in the ground."
STEFANO CHIARLO – PRESIDENT OF THE NICE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION (PIEDMONT)
"Drought is an increasingly imminent threat" declares Stefano Chiarlo, President of the Nizza Producers Association "In Monferrato we are seriously concerned: the average seasonal rainfall, for the second consecutive year, has gone from 900ml to 350ml, decreasing therefore by a third. In our area, it is only thanks to rainfall that the accumulation of water reserves can be guaranteed. Historically, Monferrato has never been affected by water shortages and for this reason, most of our producers do not have emergency irrigation systems It is now a must to think of solutions that in the medium to long term allow us to cope with this critical moment and the hope is that the institutions can encourage the construction of plants and the planning of timely interventions .
It's too early today to talk about a "threat to production", but if this situation persists in the spring, the forecasts will certainly not be the best"
FILIPPO MOBRICI – PRESIDENT OF THE BARBERA D'ASTI CONSORTIUM AND MONFERRATO WINES (PIEDMONT)
"By now drought is no longer an exceptional event, but it is a concrete fact, with which we have to deal every day" declares Filippo Mobrici, President of the Barbera d'Asti and Monferrato Wines Consortium. "The Consortium believes that there are two possible ways to deal with this situation. In the first instance, it is necessary to move towards the search for solutions for the water supply by creating reservoirs capable of collecting torrential rainwater and irrigation structures for the redistribution of water in the vineyards. The Piedmont Region is showing sensitivity with respect to the subject and, in recent years, something has begun to move. The hope is that the institutions can provide concrete support and aid to address the water crisis that afflicts the entire sector of agriculture in Piedmont, as in the rest of Italy.Secondly, the Consortium is also looking for solutions in the varietal selection and genetic improvement of the vineyards.In fact, the objective is to identify resistant strains, capable of making facing climate adversity.In this juncture we are involved in the AGEBA project, of which the Consortium is the leader, together with CREA-VE, at the Catholic University of Piacenza, the G. Penna Institute and ten farms in Monferrato. It is a virtuous project that seeks answers to the viticulture of the future in the genome of the most resistant ancient vines. We will continue to work hard to ensure a future for hillside viticulture which for centuries has been an integral part, both from a socio-cultural and economic point of view, of the Monferrato hills, a UNESCO heritage site."