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2016: A BALANCED AND LATE VINTAGE - Montaribaldi - Azienda agricola in Barbaresco

2016: A BALANCED AND LATE VINTAGE

The 2016 vintage kept a trend similar to the previous ones. 

The graph of the GDD -growing degree days- gives the total energy the vines can benefit of in the vegetative period (April 1st - September 30th). The GDD in 2016 was 2044,0 degrees per day. 

Fig. 1: GDD (Source: R.A.M. Regione Piemonte, hotspot in Barbaresco)

The climatic trend is consistent with the "cooler" vintages of the last five years (like 2013 and 2014). The fact that during the last six years the temperatures reached 2000 degree/day constantly must be highlighted.  



Fig. 2: Monthly average temperature (Source: R.A.M. Regione Piemonte, hotspot in Barbaresco)

Fig.3: Maximum temperatures, montlhy average (Fonte R.A.M. Regione Piemonte, capannina Barbaresco) 

The curve of the monthly average temperatures in 2016 (fig.2) is closer to the one of the previous vintages. And it does not shows major variations during the Spring and Summer, while  variation is more than 3°C during Semptember. The following graph, showing the montlhy average of the maximum temperatures (Fig.3), shows bigger variations during the Spring, where values are lower of 2-3°C if compared with the previous vintages. At the same time the climatic trend shown by the graph of the montlhy average temperatures (Fig.2) is confirmed: Autumn was warmer than the average. 


Fig. 4: yearly rainfall (Source: R.A.M. Regione Piemonte, hotspot in Barbaresco)

 The yearly rainfall (fig.4) was 795,4 mm, consistent with the records of the past years in the area. During February and November two peaks have been registred (180 and 190 mm). Those were due not to more rainfalls, but to their higher concentration in a shorter period of time (24-48 h). The November rainfall was the most dangerous one: more than 100mm in 24 hours. This caused the flooding of the Tanaro river in different areas. 

As for the phenological point of view, the budding was early, while the growing of the buds was late because of the lower temperatures during April and May. Later the vintage kept a regular trend for both blossoming and the following phenological phases till the ripening of the grapes. 

From the phytosanitary point of view, the vintage was regular, mildew (Plasmopora viticola) and powdery mildew (Oidium tuckeri) had a medium-low infective power. The cold climate and the scarce rainfalls during April and May, were considered by some growers as good conditions to fight against mildew, saving thus unnecessary treatments. 

The cool climatic trend of this vintage brought a late harvest. The picking started with the Chardonnay, during the first ten days of September, followed by the Moscato afterwards. During the second ten days Arneis and Dolcetto were picked, followed by the Barbera (beginning of October). 

Thanks to a warm and dry autumn and the perfect healthy conditions of the grapes, the Nebbiolo harvest has been carried out along the whole month of October, so that the regular achievement of the phenolic ripening has been possible in every vineyard. 

Even if it is early to appraise the vintage, it can already be said that it totally met the expectations giving complex wines, full-structured and balanced.

Roberto Prandi, Filippo Cauda



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