Grapes harvest 2016: interview with the director of Tenuta La Marsiliana

Grapes harvest 2016: an interview with the director of Tenuta La Marsiliana

2016 grapes harvest in Maremma

“It was a very favorable season with an excellent climate, cool winds, and perfect vegetation; overall an excellent vintage”. Cesare Moncini, director of Tenuta La Marsiliana, describes the 2016 harvest in glowing words.

“It makes us happy for many reasons here at Principe Corsini” continues Moncini. “Thanks to the favorable climate, which was dry and cool, we could limit interventions in the vineyard, which we already do because we’re 100% organic. This year, nature truly did her own thing and gave us optimal, healthy vines. So healthy that they continue to grow after harvest!”

Q: Can we say that this will be an exceptional vintage?

A: Although it’s still early to judge the evolution of our wines, we can certainly confirm that it was a solid season from the agricultural point of view: perfect on a regular basis. Because the ripening of the grapes was gradual, and happened without hurry or disease. This allowed us to bring beautiful grapes into the winery—aesthetically and qualitatively. Grapes with healthy, compact skins, whole and crunchy. It was a pleasure to see the harvested grapes not losing any juices, which is a sign of high quality of the fruit.

Q: Did the climate help the grapes’ good performance?

A: The climate certainly favored the health of the grapes and their optimal ripening. In fact, the hot summer led to an overgrowth of leaves, and we had to intervene with a light thinning to allow the grapes to breathe and get sunlight.

Q: In Maremma, the winds are also important for harvest, correct?

A: Exactly. Sometimes, the southern Scirocco winds from North Africa bring humidity and heat, creating causing the grapes to ripen too quickly. But this year, we had constant mistral and northern marine breezes, which kept the climate fresh and dry.

Q: We heard there was little rain.

A: You’re right; it didn’t rain much. Considering that in Maremma, there’s between 600 and 700 mm of rainfall a year, we only got 200 mm by the time we reached October. Overall, the rains we had were lucky in the sense that they came at particularly favorable moments—June and September—so that the vines didn’t get stressed. I remember a downpour on June 20 that came after a long dry-spell: pecorino on maccheroni, to use a food expression.

Q: Can you predict anything about the wines?

A: The situation looks good, overall. From the first taste, the wines are refreshing, have a good amount of alcohol, are well-structured, and have great aromas. It makes us think they will have optimal alcohol and polyphenolic levels due to successful fermentation, which was favored by ideal temperatures in September and October.

Q: As they say, a wine is born in the vineyards before the winery.

A: Healthy grapes are a principle characteristic of excellent wines, followed by a vinification that is never “forceful.” For a concrete example, this year we didn’t have to inoculate during the fermentation phase, but were able to use only selected indigenous yeasts from our vineyards.

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The Principe Corsini winery produces organic and vegan wine and oil in the estates of Villa Le Corti and La Marsiliana.

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