This year's harvest has already begun in some places in Slovenian Istria, and in the largest cellar Vinakoper, grape pickers will be sent to work on Monday. Grapes for sparkling wine will be harvested first, and then all other grape varieties in September and October.
The results of the sampling, analysed by the Nova Gorica Agricultural Forestry Institute, show that early varieties are about to be fully mature.
Plenty of precipitation and later onset of heat have resulted in earlier ripening of grapes. The latest rainfall has had beneficial effects on the vines, explains the specialist for viticulture at the Nova Gorica Agricultural Forestry Institute, Majda Brdnik: "The results on ripening of these early varieties also show this. Sugar levels have been rising every week, including sugar accumulation, acids have moderately decreased, so ... it's time to start harvesting."
While some Istrian vine growers had already harvested the grapes on extremely sunny locations, picking machines and harvesters in the vineyards of the Vinakoper wine cellar will also start working a week earlier than last year. Their first location will be Labor, where the cellar grows grapes for chardonnay and sparkling wine, then the work will move to Sečovlje and later to other locations, notes the chief enologist Boštjan Zidar: "According to analytics, the monitoring of ripening shows a very nice year, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and, of course, if the weather holds, we can really look forward to the coming harvest."
The largest Istrian cellar, where harvesting is expected to be completed in October, produces a little over three million litres of wine per year. A good tenth of the grapes are obtained from cooperatives, and according to Zidar, the cellar would like to increase this quantity.