How did the pandemic year affect Monferrato wine?
Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato offers a glimpse to the wine production of one of the largest vineyard areas in Piedmont.
With a production of over 66 million bottles and more than 11.000 hectares of vineyards, covering approximately 30% of the DOC and DOCG area of Piedmont, the Consorzio offers a quick view of the situation in this important wine area of Piedmont.
The picture of a solid and resilient sector filled with new perspectives is what emerged from the analysis of data on harvest and bottling carried out by the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato for 2020.
During a year in which the world of wine has seen its commercial and production dynamics completely upset, receiving hard blows due to lockdowns, travel restrictions and serious obstruction to Ho.re.ca channels, the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato presented promising figures that emerged from the complete analysis of the 13 protected denominations.
Comparing the data of December 31, 2020 with those of 2019 on the same date, bottled wine production grew by 0.4%, while data on harvest almost remained the same, with a potential of 536.393 hectoliters of wine produced. While the former depends on the market and its demands – which has both been maintained, as shown by the corresponding decrease in stocks – the latter also showed stability thanks to the climatic conditions of the period prior to harvest.
The climatic trend of 2020 has seen a very rainy spring season which has required growers to work for the prevention of the onset of diseases such as downy mildew and powdery mildew. The high temperatures during the summer months allowed a rapid vegetative revival that hastened vine budding and led to an early harvest of about 1 week. The stable weather in September enabled the harvest of healthy and ripe grapes, without any problems related to rot and hail: a result that exceeded expectations. Although not abundant, this vintage was certainly characterized by a very high-quality profile.
Regarding bottling data, some Barbera protected denominations have seen an increase in their production, in stark contrast with the current general downward trend in the wine sector. Barbera d’Asti Docg Superiore closed the year with a production of 4.939.837 bottles, marking an increase in bottled production of 2.1% compared to 2019. The Nizza Docg has also grown with 619.632 bottles, recording an increment of +4% compared to the previous year.
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Docg has also shown promising data: with production near one million bottles, it recorded similar results to the previous year, registering -1% on bottled production.
Among the results that emerged from the 2020 data, the new Terre Alfieri DOCG, made official towards the end of the year, must be mentioned. This young denomination, which includes an Arneis and a Nebbiolo, currently counts 311.088 bottles produced, with an area of 62 ha located in 7 municipalities in the province of Asti (Antignano, Celle Enomondo, Cisterna d’Asti, Revigliasco, San Damiano, San Martino Alfieri, Tigliole) and 4 in the province of Cuneo (Castellinaldo, Govone, Magliano Alfieri and Priocca). «Our prediction has turned into reality: despite the huge difficulties brought by this emergency situation, Monferrato wine has demonstrated great resilience – says Filippo Mobrici, President of the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato – The data confirmed our solidity, withstanding the blow of the recent months thanks to the skill and hard work of the wineries, which hold strong positions in the market and are increasingly devoted in guaranteeing the highest quality for our wines. Our DOCGs remain stable and, in some cases, have recorded significant growth. A result that rewards the path that we have chosen to take. Established wineries and young producers have understood the value of our territory and our wines, and this is an assurance for the investments made in this sector. This is a message filled with hope, to which we hold on in relaunching our objectives: to secure income to and create value for winemakers, but also share our territory and its numerous excellences».