Question: As global warming continues with July 2023 the Earth’s hottest month on record does this mean grape harvests for wine will all be earlier?
Answer: Not necessarily. Beginning of August saw as usual western Sicily start picking sparkling grape varieties and Pinot Grigio – but actually this was later than in 2022. Crop yields in Sicily are down in 2023 with heavy rains in May, downy mildew in June and extreme heat in July, and presently wildfires affecting grape set and “veraison”. Generally August (plus September) is a key month where grape conditions are carefully monitored as ripening continues. However if the flowering and grape development is delayed this usually results in later picking. Much too early to finally assess 2023 harvests but it will be interesting to monitor the many wine regions in the northern hemisphere. Italy’s total harvest will be down due to extreme weather conditions including recently violent hail storms in Lombardy and Veneto, Napa Valley is expecting a possible delay due to a cool wet Spring and heavy losses in Bordeaux for sure because of downy mildew issues. Stay tuned for a really unique vintage year.
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