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Consorzio Vini Di Romagna: Celebrating Exemplary Quality in the Face of Adversity

Roughly six months have passed since that midnight on May 15: a date that will long be remembered for the 350 million cubic meters of water that fell in a few days. The Consorzio Vini di Romagna does an assessment of the aftermath of the calamity on the territory as well as its impact on grape harvest. 

Emilia-Romagna’s wine industry – with its 2,753 wineries – counts 53,000 hectares of vineyards managed by approximately 16,000 companies. A considerable number of these companies, especially in the side of Romagna, has suffered the blow of the flood last May.

The most significant damage was primarily caused by landslides and the development of downy mildew on the vineyards situated along the hills, where treatments have not always been carried out promptly due to the inaccessibility of the area. Furthermore, some companies also had to halt their business activities due to road closures, as was the case in the areas between Modigliana and Brisighella.

The Consorzio Vini di Romagna outlines different scenarios between the plain and the hills, with an overall production that yielded moderate quantity and excellent quality.

Vineyards on the plains registered stable production, some even recording a slight increase, despite the flood and other adverse events that affected these areas. However, the hills considerably suffered from the calamity: production was significantly reduced, further decreasing compared to the last two vintages that have already been scarce.

Consorzio Vini Di Romagna: Celebrating Exemplary Quality grape harvest 2023 in the Face of Adversity of the calamity.

Roberto Monti, President of the Consorzio Vini di Romagna:

“2023 did not run short of hardships: a dry winter was followed by sporadic spring frosts that affected some valley floors and flatland areas. Then, we experienced heavy rainfall in May that led to floods on the plains and landslides on the hills, causing direct and indirect damage to the vineyards. The impracticality of roads and fields resulted in delayed interventions in vineyards situated on the hills, stimulating the spread of downy and powdery mildew, which led to a significant decline of production, although damage did not reach the same levels as those seen in other regions of Central and Southern Italy”.

“To make matters worse, we also experienced hailstorms, violent whirlwinds and flavescence dorée. On average, estimated production for hillside wineries is between -20% and -25%. However, we can assure good quality: the stable and sunny weather in the second half of summer, especially the favorable diurnal temperature variation in late August and September, have had a decisive influence on grape quality.”

During the harvest, the President mentioned:

“The grapes are beautiful and perfectly healthy, revealing suitable sugar concentration and balanced acidity. Proper winemaking processes can enhance the characteristics of this production and bring out results with excellent quality. Positive data also come from vineyards with higher yields per hectare and not destined for PDO productions”.

Quality is the road to take: the trend from recent vintages paints a clear picture of how climate change is a reality we must face. Amidst the succession of dry seasons and extraordinary weather phenomena, the only solution is focusing on quality in the vineyard to enhance production through designations of origin.

This is where the Consorzio comes into play, consistently standing alongside producers to protect designations of origin, dedicating utmost attention in communicating and promoting Romagna wines. Despite experiencing one of the most challenging vintages of the last thirty years, the Consorzio and its members join forces to ensure quality.