October 2019. Calvignano. On the hills of Oltrepò Pavese, at Tenuta Travaglino, harvest season has arrived at its final course, bringing with it the scent and smell of an old-time harvest.
Starting from a cold spring season that has delayed germination for a couple of weeks compared to the past years, in some areas there has been a non-homogeneous fruit set during the flowering period, with very few bunches and a low number of grapes. A couple of heat spikes between June and July then paved the way for a balanced summer weather pattern, with normal temperatures, chilly in the evening and hot during the day.
The abundant rains during spring, between April and May, have been advantageous for the summer, avoiding drought and water stress problems. The heat has not quickened fruit maturation but it has maintained the vegetative delay, allowing the harvest of grapes in perfect health. Therefore, initial analysis has pointed out lower yields, but certainly of high quality.
“The numbers are lower compared to last year,” says Achille Bergami, Travaglino’s oenologist. “We can say about 25-30% less, but of excellent quality in terms of acidity-sugar balance and tannin maturity. All in all, we have registered a delay of about 15 days in maturation – but this has yielded a harvest that is more in line with the tradition, considering the early ones that we have had in the past years.”
An excellent harvest
The 2019 harvest has offered an impressive vintage, certainly comparable to that of 2016, with a qualitative superiority that will favor long-lived, full and well-balanced wines.
Harvesting started last 22 August and it ended around 10 October – it can be considered lengthy, time wise, but also well-distributed. It presents a type of balance that can be found not only in the gradual maturation of the grapes, but also in the duration of the harvest and the activities in the winery.
The Pinot nero for the spumante has been harvested first, then that for Poggio della Buttinera, and then the Pinot grigio. Compared to last year, priority has been given to Barbera and Croatina as the Riesling was not yet sufficiently mature. Since it was the last to arrive at the winery, it had some surprises in store. The hot and sunny weather of August and September has allowed the vines to experience a progress of exceptional maturation and it has produced a wine must of good omen to the future riesling renano, the Campo della Fojada, in terms of balance between acidity and sugar content, as well as its aromatic concentration.
“We can absolutely speak of a harvest bearing wines, endowed with great structure, that will give their best in the coming years,” states Cristina Cerri Comi, the young fifth-generation leader of the family business together with her brother Alessandro “We have worked hard whole year round and we are optimistic about the results to come. An attention that starts from the very vine, respecting its biodiversity, all while trying to transfer the colors and the innate qualities of unique landscapes and terroirs to the glass.”
With 400 hectares, 80 of which are vineyards, Travaglino is an emotive universe where vines, men and the landscape showcase the complexity of a land rich in history, traditions and life. It is a place where the extraordinary vocation of winemaking fully emerges. Tenuta Travaglino is the oldest winery in the hills of Oltrepò Pavese, promoting and believing in the potential of this territory for over five generations. The history of the estate is over a thousand-years-old: from medieval monastery to nineteenth-century winegrowing estate, from cellar to wine tourism complex. A passion that has been handed for generations. Travaglino’s vineyards extend in a single-parcel, a rare and charming feature, at an altitude between 250 and 300 m asl.