Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Early Harvest Worldwide

Not only are we in the Hudson Valley experiencing an early harvest...so are many regions throughout the world.

The grapes in the Lazio region, around Rome, are ripening at least 20 days early. And in the northern regions of Veneto and Trentino, the grapes were ready to pick in early August, three to four weeks early.In Sicily, red grapes are primed to ripen in early September, a month early. The grape harvest is smaller, but the quality of the fruit is rich, more flavorful and sweet, they said.The heat hastened the ripening, and the lack of rain intensified the natural sugars. The 2007 vintage is going to be special.

In Germany August 30 marked the official start of the grape harvest, with growers hoping the current dry spell will last, so that they can make use of the early ripening this year to lock in all the aromas and flavors the grapes have to offer. Almost all of Germany's 13 official winegrowing regions are expecting a good harvest. There some 80,000 winegrowers in Germany, growing as many as 140 different varieties. The country still primarily grows white wines, although the area planted with red grape varieties has increased by nearly 40% in the past 15 years.
Riesling and Müller-Thurgau are the predominant white wines, while Spätburgunder (the German name for Pinot Noir) and Dornfelder are the main reds.
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