Days have been hot in August, with highs sometimes in the 90s, but the nights have been cool, with lows in the low 70s and high 60s.
And the best news is that there has been virtually no precipitation.
Knock on wood, things are shaping up to be a great vintage in Montalcino (as long as there isn’t any major weather events like hail or prolonged rains etc.).
The so-called “diurnal shifts” — from warm days to cool, well-aerated evenings — is ideal for the ripening of fine wine grapes and Sangiovese, with its thin skin and tannic character, in particular.
In order to achieve complete ripeness (and produce top wines), the grapes need to ripen slowly during the summer months, especially during August as the growing cycle comes to a close.
The berries need the warmth to develop fully but if it’s too hot they will “cook.” That’s why those cool nights are so importantly.
And if it’s too hot and drought conditions arise, the hydric stress can overwhelm the plants.
We will be following the harvest closely here on Montalcino blog. And we plan to have owner, grower, and winemaker Stefano (below) share his notes as picking and vinification approach So stay tuned!