Excellent quality of grapes, especially black grapes, which anticipates excellent wines: the 100 days of the Sicilian grape harvest have already come to an end, and the final considerations of the DOC Sicily Wines Consortium are on the whole positive.
2023 Harvest in Sicily
“We expect a high quality of grapes”, says the Consortium President Antonio Rallo, “made possible thanks also to the careful and prudent management of the vineyards by Sicilian winegrowers during this climatically complex year”. While confirming the forecasted figure of a drop in production of more than 40 percent due to the climatic excesses of late spring and early summer and the unprecedented attack of downy mildew, Sicilian winemakers predict wines of excellent quality. Black grapes seem to get a special mention since the berries, having remained small in size, guarantee more intensity and a greater aromatic concentration.
The “longest grape harvest in Italy”, which began in late July on the west coast of the island and gradually moved south-eastwards, ending in late October on the highest elevations, took place in a regular manner, favoured also by a beginning of autumn that was climatically positive.
“Certainly, our winegrowers,” President Rallo continued, “were faced with a challenging vintage where we had to deal with a great number of the variables that nature can set before us: however, the experience and expertise of DOC Sicily producers once again made it possible to bring home a result of absolute quality”.
In fact, a rainy autumn and a winter with less rainfall were followed by a cold spring, with some rainfall events that could even be called extreme, and then a very dry and arid summer. To cope with the difficulties of this 2023 vintage, the water reserves accumulated during the spring rainfall proved crucial.
The DOC Sicily producers with organically cultivated vineyards, after such an unusually distinguished agricultural year, are naturally those who have suffered most from the difficulties. “However, the downy mildew attack,” emphasises President Rallo, “was concentrated more on the bunches, so that there was less production, but better ripening of the grapes, thanks to the quantity of the leaves”.