2008 GROWING YEAR
The 2008 growing season opened with a particularly rainy winter, which allowed replenishment of groundwater reserves.
These conditions lasted well into the spring and affected the onset of the vines’ vegetative growth, which showed a significant delay (mid-April), compared to 2007.
Weather conditions unusual for this area, with rather low temperatures and quite heavy rains, slightly delayed flowering, which took place in the first week of June for early-ripening varieties. This in turn diminished fruit set, in particular for varieties such as pinot grigio, chardonnay, and merlot.
The first part of summer brought cool temperatures and heavy rains, creating significant problems with fungal attacks in the vineyards, particularly downy mildew.
The latter half of the summer, however, ushered in warm, sunny weather, with very high temperatures close to the harvest period. These somewhat unusual conditions put a stop the fungal infections, so much so that the fruit displayed fine health at harvest.
In early autumn, when the late-ripening varieties are picked, daily temperatures rose well above average, while those at night fell below 14°C on several occasions.
VITICULTURE AND WINEMAKING NOTES
The spring and summer rains created some problems with respect to fighting downy mildew.
Leaf-pulling carefully calibrated to the type of season, light and early in the case at hand, carried out during fruit set, was enough to ward off botrytis and to reduce, at the same time, the risk of exposing the clusters to sunburn.
Rainfall and low temperatures before and after flowering reduced the percentage of fruit set. The clusters thus showed quite loose, which encouraged air circulation through the berries, creating a microclimate unfavourable to the development of botrytis.
Thanks to hot, breezy days through August and September, the grapes were able to reach excellent levels of ripeness.
Harvest began early for sauvignon blanc (September 8), about average for pinot grigio (September 15), and slightly late for chardonnay and malvasia istriana (end of September and early October).
With respect to fruit quality, significant diurnal temperature differences during ripening kept acid levels high, with sugar concentrations remaining undiminished. These conditions were particularly favourable to varieties such as sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, and chardonnay.
Overall, we can say that the 2008 vintage yielded wines characterised by bright, cleanly-delineated aromatics with striking varietal fidelity and by notably crisp palates, to which firmer acidities made a good contribution.