Vine Year 2021

Winter started with regular rainfalls and some snow, which completely replenished the water reserves of the soil. February was exceptionally mild, and, despite a fairly late pruning, this led to an early bud break, which began already in the second half of March with Sangiovese in Maremma and in the sunniest areas of Chianti Classico.

A sharp drop in temperature in the night between the 8th and the 9th of April, which in some areas even reached -7°C, raised fears that much of the production could be lost. Thanks to the fires lit on the edge of the vineyards and some treatments with a product based on marine algae extracts, and – to be frank – even with a good dose of luck, damages were fortunately very limited.

May was a rather cool and rainy month, especially in Chianti, and therefore we had to pay close attention to the development of the most important fungal diseases (downy mildew and powdery mildew), which are particularly dangerous during the flowering and fruit-growing phases of the grapes and can cause great damage, both in terms of quantity and quality. Thanks to the decision support systems (DSS) that allow continuous monitoring of the plants through weather stations and sensors in the vineyards, we were able to control the progress of these diseases right from the start and at the same time, through forecasting models, to further reduce the use of copper and sulphur.

At the beginning of the summer, it was already very hot with very little rainfall, so the vines prospered without major problems. In the first week of August, temperatures rose again significantly. Ten consecutive days of high temperatures and a constant warm wind put a strain on our vineyards. Fortunately, thanks to their relatively high average age, our vines were able to perfectly preserve their leaves and grapes. A little rain, accompanied by a drop in temperatures, finally brought nature back into balance.

From the end of August, it began a period of great night and day temperature difference. While the days had summerlike temperatures until the beginning of October, the nights were already very cool: the ideal situation to allow the grapes to reach perfect ripeness.

Brancaia Team

The harvest began in Maremma on the 18th of August with the Merlot for our Rosé, to continue with Sangiovese and end with both Cabernets and Petit Verdot. In Chianti, on the other hand, it started with Sauvignon Blanc at the beginning of September, followed by Merlot and Sangiovese at the end. The 1st of October was the last harvest day of in all our estates.

We look back on a turbulent year with great satisfaction: it was a great challenge for both nature and us. Thanks to absolutely perfect end of summer and autumn, we were able to harvest every single vineyard at the right time. In the cellar, musts are showing their wonderful potential, which already makes us dream of the moment when the final product will be in our hands (or better, in our glass). At this point, a sincere thanks to all our team: without their great commitment and passion all this would not have been possible.

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