As lovers of wine, it's disheartening to hear about and see the impact the drought is having on our wine producers in Piemonte, Italy. The region is known for producing some of the world's finest wines, including Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero, but the lack of rainfall is taking a toll on the vineyards.
Our winemakers in Piemonte are no strangers to drought, but the severity of the current situation is unprecedented. The region has experienced a significant decrease in rainfall over the past few years, and this year's drought has been particularly harsh. As you can hear in the video from Antonio Deltetto, the new vines planted are dying and even the older vines are not producing as much. This impact on the quantity of grapes has some wineries reporting a decrease of up to 50% in their yield. This is a significant blow to the wineries, as they rely on a healthy harvest to produce enough wine to meet demand.
Winemakers in Piemonte are taking steps to mitigate the impact of the drought. Some are banding together to put in irrigation systems, like Alberto Alessandria of Crissante Alessandria in La Morra. This will provide the vines with the necessary water, but as Alberto is quick to point out, there is not even much water available for irrigation due to the drought. Others are experimenting with different grape varieties that are more resistant to drought and it will be difficult to know if this will work since it will take at least three years to bear fruit. So, both of these measures are costly and not guaranteed for success.
Drought can also impact by reducing the quality of the wines by ripening the grapes too quickly. Again, in order to preserve the high quality of the wine, our winemakers are hand selecting only the highest quality grapes, which means there will be less wine available to sell.
The local economy is also affected, as the wine industry is a significant contributor to the region's economy. The decrease in yield means less wine to sell, which in turn affects the income of the wineries and the people who work for them. Despite the challenges, our winemakers in Piemonte remain optimistic. They are committed to producing high-quality wine, even in the face of adversity. As wine lovers, we can support them by continuing to enjoy their wines and spreading the word about the impact of the drought on the region.
If you are interested in tasting any of our Deltetto or Crissante Alessandria wines, please reach out to us to schedule a private tasting class or event.