It’s been a hot and arid summer in Tuscany this year but rains in recent weeks have helped the grapes to ripen well.
While growers in Tuscany began picking their white grapes a few weeks ago, the time has come to begin picking the red grapes.
Yesterday, they began and they will continue picking over the next two weeks or so, harvesting the ripest grapes first (in the vineyards with the best exposure to sun) and waiting until the other vineyards as they achieve their fullest expression of flavor.
It is perhaps the most beautiful time of the year to stroll through the vineyards, especially at daybreak, when the wildlife is still active.
In the photo above, you see Mt. Amiata in the distance, the gentle giant that protects the vineyards of Montalcino from inclement weather arriving from the Mediterranean sea to the south.
For growers with good vineyard sites, a good to excellent vintage is expected, although the yields will be slightly smaller: hot temperatures and prolonged drought posed challenges for growers and winemakers this year. As a famous Tuscan winemaker once said, there are no bad vintages; there are just vintages when we make less wine.