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What follows is a brief history of the effect of the microclimate years that we lived through at Terre del Principe. It should be said that, contrary to what might happen at any given time, due to the attention that today most of the vineyard owners put in to growing and managing a vineyard, there is less damage from natural hazards than previously experienced. The continuous monitoring of the climate makes it possible to intervene with targeted treatments during the vegetative cycle and the manic sorting of the grapes at harvest excludes strictly the arrival of the grapes in the cellar that are not perfectly ripe and undamaged. In this sense, the damage of "bad" years is limited perhaps to a lower yield, but never bad quality of grapes. If unfortunately this occurs, it means that in that year we would not produce a particular wine. It was thus, for example, in 2006 when a hailstorm produced very serious damage to the Vineyard Piancastelli compromising the quality of the grapes itself, so much so that in this year we decided not to produce Piancastelli. Of course, each wine brings with it also the "personality" Vintage: rainy years produce a more subtle wine, hot years a more robust wine, with the difference being the levels of acidity. This is the beauty of the production of "craft" vintages which are never equal to each other as is the case for “industrial” wines ".

 

The winter of 2003 was rather mild and rainy in the months of December with January and February cold but dry. April, however, was distinguished with a pungent cold with temperatures below average. At the end of April, the temperatures rose quickly to levels normal with this season, and after about twenty days the high pressure would bring the hot summer of 2003.

 

2004 was hot and dry in general, with the amount of rainfall below average during the growing season. Despite the lack of a humid climate, 2004 was good and allowed a good maturation of the grapes, therefore, we had a very satisfying harvest. In September, fortunately, the collection of whites was not disturbed by the rains that concentrated on mid-month. The first ten days of the month saw spikes of temperatures to 31.5 ° C; only during the last week of the month were temperatures elevated thermal day / night favoring good maturation of the grapes.  

 

2005 began with a cold winter that continued until March with record temperatures over 30 ° C; there was then an early summer (June) very hot which quickly gave way to the instability of July and August with rainfall above average. September was without major upheavals and there were alternate warm and cold phases. Harvest was quiet.

 

2006 had a First Quarter with below-average temperatures. March was colder than normal with temperatures about 1-3 degrees lower than in 2005 and there were frequent frosts. Within three months the thermal values ​​were very close to the average, or slightly higher than in June. Subsequently, the second part of the year, except for a month of August which was decidedly cooler than average with characteristics of autumn,; there were record temperature values ​​always above the monthly average. The climate change delayed the ripening of the grapes making it a particularly challenging harvest, especially for the black Pallagrello harvest in late October.

 

2007 was one of the hottest years of the last 100 years. Already in January, due to warm winds, temperatures had reached 22 ° C., thus spring was advanced with early vegetation. An April drought was followed by a May quite normal with some precipitation. From June to September the weather was very sunny with temperatures reaching 38-40 ° C in September, never falling below 25 ° C. October was dry and mild.

 

2008 began with temperatures well above average. The winter was warm, with vegetation advanced by about one week; there was a gradual recovery to the norm in the following months. March and April were rainy with high temperatures. May was quite warm with temperatures above ten degrees maximum and often above 25 ° C; initially June was rainy, with temperatures up to 30 ° C. July; August was serene. September alternated between sunshine and rain with temperatures more moderate. The temperature range allowed the optimum maturation, both in terms of sugar and polyphenols

 

2009 was initially difficult, however, it eventually became possible, with temperatures above average, to collect quality grapes. A cold winter with temperatures below freezing in February coupled with March and April rainfall led to an excess accumulation of water in the summer; this created the conditions for mildew which created a need for constant control; this was essential to operational objectives and necessary for the defense of the vines. The temperatures from the end of May were on average higher, reaching 30 ° C at the end of the month, and then falling slightly to around 25 ° C in June, July; August was serene even with a maximum of 40 ° C. The fluctuations in constant air currents in the area allowed for ideal responses to cures for problems in all respects.

 

2010 was a wonderful year of a very high level, with a winter and a spring full of rain, and quite a long summer; the harvest period was ideal, dry and with good temperature ranges. The winter was all in all a little cold, rainfall was instead very abundant until late April, with average temperatures very low. There were constant winds. After a rainy start to May, the weather adjusted beautifully and was perfect until the harvest season.

 

2011 was a tough year. It was fresh and generally smooth until mid-August through the last two weeks of the month with scorching temperatures, to be remembered as perhaps the warmest of the last years in memory. After mid-August temperatures, were consistently around 35 ° C and were accompanied by hot dry winds, which overheated the grapes. Harvest, therefore, necessarily was advanced to avoid early maturation. In late September the grapes were in the cellar.

 

2012 was vintage year particularly hot. In particular, during the early part of spring temperatures were well above average even reaching 30 ° C in March. April was full of bad weather with rain, which allowed an accumulation of water to compensate for a very hot and dry summer, with temperatures up to 40 ° C, and little temperature change.

2013 was also a difficult year: rainy with temperatures below average compared to recent years. The plants suffered during the spring bloom from a decidedly cold and rainy season which was followed by a summer characterized also with cool temperatures. It went well for white grapes that were harvested during the last ten days of September. It was a more strenuous harvest of red grapes, which required a strict and meticulous sorting of grapes.

2014: very hard vintage. Rainy and with hot temperature, never under 5°. The vines suffered the strange clime and the growth cycle was not normal, with anticipated blooming, damaged by the spring rains. Cool and rainy summer with a short break between August and September and a good improvement in the white grapes maturation. Very low yeld but of excellent quality.

2015: Top quality vintage. Regular seasons, enough cold winter, mild spring and warm summer with little baking days at the end of July. A right rainfall created a drought reserve. Grapes achieved a perfect maturation and balance among sugar, acidity and polyphenols.