Andrea Fontana, president of the Consorzio Tutela Nebbioli Alto Piemonte, shares an initial assessment of the 2021 harvest
Ghemme, November 2021 – Despite the lower production compared to 2020, as well as a generally low yield in all areas, there are promising conditions in terms of quality. These are the first reflections on the harvest in the provinces of Alto Piemonte, which officially began in the first ten days of September in the province of Novara and ended definitively during the last week of October, still in Novara, with the harvest of Nebbiolo grapes destined for aging.
However, the heterogenous territory does not allow to draw a definite assessment of the harvest: some areas witnessed a positive yield, presenting good acidity and alcohol content; others have unexpectedly produced good results despite the frosts in spring; and some others have experienced a drastically reduced production due to the extraordinary climatic events recorded during the year, which have brought damaged to approximately 45% and 70 % of vineyards in some areas of Vercelli, Biella and Novara.
Therefore, the impact of climate change on viticulture is also evident in Alto Piemonte. Fortunately – as stated by Andrea Fontana, president of the Consorzio Tutela Nebbioli Alto Piemonte – «the proximity to Monte Rosa and our geographical location still protect us, compared to other areas that resulted much more affected by this phenomenon», which is why «the harvested grapes have shown highly satisfying quality».
However, the climatic situation at hand prompted the need to consider the measures to be taken in order to protect future production. In areas where extreme climatic events have been increasingly recorded, numerous wineries have already installed anti-hail nets to protect the vineyards and, following the launch of new funding opportunities aimed at promoting structural development, there will be further implementation of this type of equipment.
It is important to protect future production, especially at a time wherein there are numerous new opportunities for Alto Piemonte. The ever-growing interest of domestic and foreign consumers has contributed to the development of the vineyard area as well as the production of different wineries.
The change of perspective on the territory further confirms the existence of positive conditions for a 2022 that will witness the return of national and international events and fairs and expect increase in sales. Most wineries in the area are receiving positive signals from both Italian and foreign markets.
In particular, growth in exports is detected in markets located in Northern Europe, Canada, Australia and the USA, where small importers who value the products of artisanal family businesses are present. This positive trend is also observed in emerging markets such as Russia and some Asian countries.