Wine Harvest 2016: high quality in Piedmont, Italy
An ideal summer in Barolo and Barbaresco areas: warm days and cool nights ripened Nebbiolo throughout the Langhe.
The 2016 growing season in Piedmont was mostly dry and warm, with enough rain at the right times and ideal conditions for the region’s most important grape, Nebbiolo. Some vintners are comparing it to 2004, others to 2001, both excellent vintages.
Late spring brought cooler-than-usual temperatures, especially at night. This delayed the vegetative cycle and the flowering was two weeks later, resulting in a later-than-average harvest.
Overall, conditions were dry, but there was no drought pressure and peak temperatures during the summer months did not spike.
Along with the high quality, the quantity was average to slightly higher.
The weather leading up to the harvest was ideal, with sun and the good temperature swings between day and night that are so important for the development of Nebbiolo’s aromas. Whites were picked beginning Sept. 5, with the reds following, beginning with Dolcetto and Barbera. Picking of Nebbiolo began during the last week of September and continued through the third week of October.
Now that fermentations are complete, winemakers report that the wines are aromatic, well-balanced and the Nebbiolo in particular appears well-structured for aging.