Traditionally, the first grapes are harvested in Sicily, where the Settesoli winegrowers' cooperative in Menfi started on 28 July 2022 with Pinot Grigio and Moscato.
The ripening process of the grapes had initially slowed down due to a cool spring. Budding began ten days late compared to the previous year, this influenced flowering. An optimal fruit formation followed. From the middle of May, temperatures rose to the level of previous years, with rain still falling in some areas of the largest Mediterranean island.
The DOC Sicilia consortium expects a very good quality and a drop in production of 10 to 15%, because the drought in summer reduced the grape weight. With a good three months, the harvest in Sicily takes much longer than in the other regions of Italy, since on Mount Etna harvesting still takes place at the end of October/beginning of November.
The harvest in Franciacorta, the first on the Italian mainland, began on 1 August 2022 - two weeks earlier than in 2021. It started with Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco for the production of base wines.
"The 2022 vintage is very unusual: after a start with ideal conditions, an excellent quantity of grapes and good health, the heat and drought, especially in June and July, put the vines and the winemakers to the test. The rains in the last week of July alleviate the water stress and create the conditions for a harvest that although early maintains very interesting qualities," reports Flavio Serina, head of research and development at the Franciacorta Consortium.
Veneto reports a harvest start around 15 August 2022. The region estimates that the quantity will be slightly reduced - not only because of the drought, but also because of the spread of golden yellowing of the leaves.
Friuli and South Tyrol
The DOC Collio in Friuli and South Tyrol will bring forward their harvest start by 10-14 days and also expect a slight yield decline.
The only denomination announcing yield increases (+10%) so far is the DOC Ciro & Melissa in Calabria. It has to be taken into account that the two previous years were low in volume.
The main harvest period runs from September to mid-October. Italy's official harvest forecast is announced at the beginning of September.