In the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG appellation, the 2020 harvest has successfully completed. In a year characterized by the COVID-19 crisis and the various challenges related to it, this harvest helped restore a sense of optimism, particularly with respect to the impressive quality of the grapes brought to the cellar.
This growing season was characterized by mild and dry climatic conditions up to the beginning of summer, with alternating days of rainfall and moderately warm periods thereafter. In fact, thanks to the hills’ morphology, which consist of very steep slopes and good sun exposure for the vineyards, potentially harmful excess moisture was avoided. Mild weather brought sunny days and cool breezy nights which are ideal for keeping the grapes in optimal condition before they are brought to the cellar. These meteorological conditions led to a gradual evolution and ripening of the fruit on the vine right up to harvest and helped ensure that the enticing and signature floral and fruity aromas of the Glera grape were captured in vinification. The harvest will most likely be defined by the distinctive flavors and aromas that differ between the two extremes – the northwest and southeast of the appellation – a phenomenon that typically occurs in cooler years.
“This year’s harvest presented a considerable and completely new challenge.” said Innocente Nardi, President of the Consorzio di Tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, “We set about our work knowing that we still have many challenges ahead of us, and this is why the Consorzio has adopted policies that embody an approach of “healthy” focus, which will guarantee the Denomination’s quality and value in the market.”
In a year such as this, the winemakers have made an even bigger effort than usual in order to guarantee that the vineyards and the resulting quality of the wines received the required care. Harvest started in the southeast area on the slopes with the largest sun exposure and gradually moved westwards before climbing the cooler embankments of the Valdobbiadene slopes, where the characteristics of the land necessitate what is called “heroic harvesting,” which requires a mastery cultivated over generations of local practice. The grapes harvested at the two extremes of the Denomination will result in equally diverse wines, demonstrating the exceptionality of the Glera vine. Glera is capable of revealing a wide range of characteristics, from the ripest fruits to white flowers, from less to more notable acidity, all the while maintaining flavors that reflect the diversity of the terrain.
On the steepest embankments of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene territory, between 600 and 700 hours of manual labor are required per hectare every year, compared to an average of 150-200 hours per hectare in flat areas that can be accessed by machine harvesting. It is for this reason that ‘heroic’ harvesting represents the ingenuity of the region’s winemakers. ‘Heroic’ viticulture perseveres by promoting quality, not quantity.
From the northwest area we expect wines with pleasantly fresh green apple and herbal notes resulting from this area’s exposure. While from the south-east we foresee wines that taste that exhibit more exotic fruit notes of apple and pear, which are typical aromas of Prosecco Superiore. Overall, the vintage promises a balance between floral and fruity aromas, with a note of acidity which gives the wines their characteristic freshness. It will therefore be a year characterized by the aromatic floral typicity of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, bringing out the characteristics that make it a sparkling wine loved by consumers all over the world.
The Consorzio di Tutela del Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is the private body, founded in 1962, that guarantees and controls adherence to the production regulations for D.O.C.G. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. The sparkling wines produced on the hillsides between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the Province of Treviso, obtained Denomination di Origin Controlled status in 1969 and the Denomination di Origin Controlled e Garantita in 2009. The production zone includes 15 municipal areas: Conegliano, San Vendemiano, Colle Umberto, Vittorio Veneto, Tarzo, Cison di Valmarino, San Pietro di Feletto, Refrontolo, Susegana, Pieve di Soligo, Farra di Soligo, Follina, Miane, Vidor, and Valdobbiadene. The Consortium, whose current President is Innocente Nardi, has its headquarters in the village of Solighetto in Pieve di Soligo. It groups together 182 sparkling wine producers and 427 vinifying companies. For the Denomination, this means that there are almost 3,500 local families involved in producing Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. It operates principally in three areas: protection and promotion of the product, both in Italy and abroad, encouraging knowledge of the product through educational activities, and the organization of events, as well as relations with the press. It also offers technical assistance to its members, from the vineyard to the winery.