Storms in Valpolicella cause €6m worth of damage

Hailstorms in Valpolicella last weekend damaged between 4%-5% of vineyards in the region causing up to €6 million worth of damage.

Image: Cia – Agricoltori Italiani

Violent storms struck parts of the Veneto region on the weekend of 22 and 23 August, with strong winds and hail damaging some vineyards in the area.

A report posted on the Veneto government website said the agriculture department had been carrying out inspections to assess the damage.

On 24 August, President of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, announced a state of emergency in the region. While the storms were relatively localised, affecting 400 hectares out of almost 8,000 in the Valpolicella region, there was extensive damage where the hail did strike.

Christian Marchesini, president of the Valpolicella wine consortium, told Winemag.it: “Where hail and wind have hit, as in the municipality of San Pietro in Cariano, they have done really huge damage, leading to crop losses of between 70 to 100%.”

“The epicenter of the storm, or rather ‘supercell’, as meteorologists call it was located in the center of Verona. If it had been on the vineyards, we would be talking about the most total disaster,” he told the publication.

Producers such as Pasqua Vigneti and Tommasi suffered some damage to their low-lying vines, but most of their vineyards escaped the hail.

Andrea Lavagnoli, president of the Verona arm of farming organisation Cia, said that while damage was “limited”, those affected suffered “terrible damage” that will affect this year and next year’s harvest.

“Our biggest concern is that the wave of bad weather is not over. The forecast is not good and there is a risk of suffering more damage,” he added.

Cia Verona also reported problems in Padua, with 50% of vineyards damaged in the areas around Vanzo in San Pietro Viminario and San Cosma, Monselice.

The storms badly affected just two of Valpolicella’s 19 municipalities: eastern Verona and San Pietro. However, this is not the first major storm to hit the region this year. On 7 June, Valpolicella also suffered hail damage.

Production in the region, famous for Amarone, is expected to be 7 to 8% lower than levels achieved last year.

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