To celebrate the end of the grape harvest, the event "Benfinita della vendemmia: trekking & picnic in the vineyard" will start on October 4th, a unique opportunity to get to know the peculiarities of the territory by tasting the excellence of Montalcino.
In the past, the grape harvest was a sacred rite that involved the whole family working in the fields. If today the process has changed a lot, the spirit has remained the same: a party that concludes the tiring weeks of work, made up of stories, hopes and wishes for the wine to come. To celebrate the end of this particular moment of the year as in the past, the Franco Pacenti company, located in Val d'Orcia in one of the most suitable areas of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation, in the Canalicchio area, has organized for Sunday 4 October the event "Benfinita della grape harvest: trekking & picnic in the vineyard". A unique opportunity to get to know the peculiarities of the territory by tasting the excellence of Montalcino, an appointment dedicated to young and old, which will begin in the early afternoon with the tour of the cellar and then continue, weather permitting, with a panoramic trek to discover the vineyards . 2 Km of path for about an hour of walking during which various stops will be made where the company will tell the participants about the characteristics of the vineyards, the terroir and the evolution of the approach in the vineyard and in the cellar that the third generation of the family Pacenti is carrying on. The experience will culminate with the Picnic in the vineyard - which will take place in the cellar in case of rain - tasting Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino in combination with the "farmer's snack", enjoying a panoramic view of the Montalcino hill waiting for the sunset (for info and reservations visit the website www.francopacenticanalicchio.it).
The balance of the harvest just concluded drawn up by the company is positive. Despite a variable climatic trend, the 2020 vintage has all the characteristics to deliver wines that will be remembered for the extreme cleanliness and quality of the grapes. From the estimates made, this year the yields were even lower: 55 quintals of grapes per hectare, about 20% less than the maximum allowed by the disciplinary as the older vineyards produced less in response to the cold they suffered. the buds during the differentiation period.
"The actual harvest - says Lorenzo Pacenti, born in 1990, third generation today at the helm of the company - took place around 20 September, about ten days earlier than the standards of our area and ended earlier of the beginning of the rains. The grapes were in excellent balance from the analytical point of view with good but not excessive sugar concentrations, sustained acidity, fairly low pH and in perfect health. Despite the high summer temperatures, the grapes presented a nice turgor, even if due to the scarcity of rains they were smaller than the standards, heralding a great vintage, of high quality with wines with intense colors and aromas. "
VINTAGE NOTES - Lorenzo Pacenti, Franco Pacenti Winery (Montalcino)
The 2020 vintage began with a rather mild winter, an increasingly frequent phenomenon in recent years: a seasonal trend that facilitates the vegetative restart with the risk of a return of cold in spring and consequent late frosts. We therefore opted for a winter pre-pruning followed by late pruning, in order to delay budding and therefore limit the risk of cold damage: by pre-pruning with 5/6 buds, thanks to the apical dominance, the gems higher and when we go to do the trimming of the actual pruning to 2 buds, even if the highest buds had been compromised by the frost, the basal buds would remain safe as they are still closed. The technique of late pruning also favors the alignment between technological maturity (sugars, acidity and pH) and phenolic maturity (skins and pips), anticipating the latter. In fact, from the analysis of the first samplings on the grapes carried out on September 7, the phenolic maturity was even more advanced than the technological one. Spring was favorable with a good distribution of the rains (between April and May 3 important rains fell, spaced 7-10 days apart, also excellent for the rooting of the cuttings of the new vineyard planted in mid-April). This allowed the accumulation of important water reserves to avoid stress to the plants that had to face a hot and dry summer, practically without rain and with rather high heat peaks with peaks up to 40 ° C between July and August. Another fundamental factor, which in recent years has been helping us a lot, is our predominantly clayey soil which retains water very well. The secret of clays is to work them periodically on the surface avoiding the formation of cracks caused by the sun, which would favor the dehydration of the soil. This allows us to keep the soil moist and fresh in depth, allowing the leaves to continue photosynthesis without going into stress. The leaf wall, in fact, remained green until the harvest, a symptom of the excellent health of the plants. In full bloom, in the vineyards with greater vegetative vigor, we carried out an early leaf removal in order to induce stress to the plants which, in order to defend themselves, attach fewer and smaller grapes, producing smaller, less tight and more sparse clusters, thus obtaining fruits of higher quality and less predisposition to diseases. Furthermore, the bunch, getting used to the incidence of solar radiation right away, resists any burns better. During veraison, always in the most vigorous areas, we carried out a thinning of the grapes by eliminating the excess bunches and further back with the ripening in order to leave in the plant a load of grapes adequate to obtain a complete and homogeneous ripening. This inevitably leads to a decrease in yields but represents a fundamental step in order to obtain quality grapes even in certain areas. A good rain at the end of August rehydrated the soil a little and a fabulous September did the rest (crucial month for Sangiovese): 3 weeks followed with perfect weather that accelerated ripening a lot. We carried out a pre-harvest passage towards September 10 to lighten the load of grapes in the new five-year plant and harvest the less promising bunches (not very ripe or slightly blanched) in the remaining vineyards, leaving only the grapes to fully ripen perfect.
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