Ornellaia begins 2020 harvest

Harvesting is well underway at Super Tuscan producer Ornellaia, with hopes high for the vintage as weather conditions currently stand.

The estate began harvesting its white varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, on 13 August, a week earlier than last year, while the red varieties will begin to be harvested from the very tail end of August into September.

Spring conditions were described as “perfect”, mostly sunny with outbreaks of rain, leading to a bud break that was early.

June was wetter than normal in Bolgheri which required “considerable vineyard management” but July was drier which helped to balance out the vines’ development, slowing it down for veraison which took place at the end of July.

As things currently stand, all is reportedly looking well for the 2020 crop – if the weather holds into September. Estate director Axel Heinz said: “The watchwords for this first harvest after the Covid-19 lockdown are ‘confidence & resilience’. Our commitment is to work as usual, interpreting the vintage to the best of our abilities while preserving the style and identity of Ornellaia.”

One additional challenge for estates and their harvesting and cellar teams this year is some measure of social distancing due to the on-going pandemic.

Heinz explained that: “Back in April we reorganised the cellar, where about 20 people work, whereas distancing is natural in the vineyards. We changed our working methods without altering our operation and without compromising our standards of quality. It has been a significant challenge.”

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