November 2021

Harvest 2021: innovations and future projects

Considerations about the past vintage

A useful aspect to describe the vintage 2021 is undoubtedly the climatic trend that has characterized the summertime in Piedmont: cool in the first phase and warmer, sunny and almost without rain from mid-July.

The two phases, so different one from the other, conditioned the quality of grapes, especially in relation to the ripening period and according to the variety. Excellent results were obtained on early grapes such as Moscato, Arneis, Chardonnay, Dolcetto and Cortese. Barbera grapes of excellent quality reached their peak of ripeness with slightly lower sugar concentrations and higher acidity than the previous vintage. Very good results in terms of quantity were achieved by Nebbiolo, which however stood out among the other varieties for a greater qualitative heterogeneity during the ripening period.

The contingency of different microclimates among the appellations and the occurrence of atmospheric phenomena are the main causes of this phenomenon. However, timely thinning operations useful to eliminate compromised bunches allowed to preserve quality at the expense of a slight loss in quantity.

Harvest 2.0: the new instrumentation

The 2021 harvest season was particularly significant for our company, having inaugurated a whole series of new departments and machinery, the result of a renovation work that had been going on for a long time. In the forefront of this vintage is undoubtedly the new pressing department, consisting of two hoppers with separate circuits for the transport of grapes and manageable from the synoptic panel. Moreover, three pneumatic presses have been installed, one of which is capable of operating in a nitrogen atmosphere.

Important renovations have been made to the existing wine making departments, which have been joined this year by two new departments, respectively dedicated to white wines and red wines respectively. The improvements mainly consist in underground pipes for the handling of crushed grapes, with units located in the center of the departments; the system for the transport of marc after racking, which is fully automated and manageable from a synoptic panel; finally the fermenters with control panel and temperature on board.
Last but not least, the new ageing department with 54 oak barrels.

The benefits of technology

We are confident that the new facilities will bring significant benefits to future production in terms of increased capacity and efficiency. The use of new technologies and advanced instrumentation will contribute to a better average quality and lower margin of error. Automated processes will take their place alongside manual work, which is still essential but certainly involves less risk.

In addition to the characteristics of greater production efficiency, we expect that these changes will also have a positive impact on the enhancement of the company and brand image

Projects in the pipeline

Satisfied with the past season but already looking ahead to the new goals, we plan to implement the interconnection system of the departments in the future, through the use of networked machinery that can be managed remotely.
Finally, another renewal planned for the next few years will certainly be that of the bottling line.

Harvest 2021: innovations and future projects - Roberto Sarotto