Between mastery and the rhythms of the earth: our 2020 harvest
When Rainer Maria Rilke wrote these words at the beginning of the twentieth century to his friend and writer Kappus, he was thinking of the artist’s creative work and certainly not of the vineyards. Reading them well today, however, his words also tell us a lot about the work of the winemaker. For those who take care of the vines, as well as for those who create, patience is in fact a fundamental virtue: both for the waiting for the times of nature and for the awareness that something good or bad can come from nature at any time. . The winemaker and the artist know well that, if you really want to create something beautiful and valuable, “one year doesn’t count” and “ten is nothing”. What counts are the skill, care and attention that, in the repetition of almost sacred gestures, lay the foundations for a good sprout day after day. Which in the end always produces fruit.
So it was for the 2020 harvest, judged by the winemakers of the Langhe an excellent year, both for the good weather conditions and for the level of ripeness of the grapes, two factors that together allowed us to harvest healthy and ideal grapes. to obtain important oenological results. An almost perfect season, which we lived as a bright sign in this difficult year for everyone. Here at Castello di Perno this has been an exceptional year, with one of the best harvests ever. First of all, because our vines responded well to the vegetative advance of the first shoots after a mild winter. The result? Sixty thousand bottles of all the varieties in our cellar (which you can explore here ). A medium-small production, but enriched by an undisputed quality of the grapes.
The story of a harvest is never the same as the previous one. Everything can changes and every year brings with it new surprises. From Barolo Castelletto to Dolcetto d’Alba, passing through Langhe Nascetta to Nebbiolo, this year all the terroirs of more than 13 hectares of our company turned out to be luxuriant in the ripening months, characterized by a rainy March and a spring mild, with a good temperature range between night and day during the summer without excessive heat peaks. Ingredients that allowed us to choose when to start harvesting, unlike a year ago. But the harvest goes far beyond only the picking phase. There is a whole preparatory phase towards the end of August, dedicated to analytical and phytosanitary checks, which then moves towards a more sensorial phase, during which our winemakers taste the grapes and decide depending on taste if the time has come to harvest them. This is an art that has been refined over the years, which in our areas follow the knowledge handed down by the Langhe wine tradition with continuous study. We started with the harvest of Dolcetto d’Alba and Nascetta in mid-September, in October it was the turn of Barbera and Nizza, followed by Nebbiolo until the end of the month. Almost two months in total, spent following step by step the rhythms of each vineyard.
So here is the praise of patience. Because not only the final results of many wines produced in 2020 will be visible in a few years – Langhe Nebbiolo and Nizza in 2022, the Barolo Castelletto in 2024 and Perno Riserva in 2026, while Dolcetto, Barbera and Nascetta will arrive already in September 2021. This because every land we work is interpreted in a sartorial way. Anyone who grows vines in the Langhe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, knows that each plot is different and needs specific cares. The climate changes depending by the exposure and the altitude, the type of soil changes the aroma and texture of each wine. Dolcetto D’Alba for example is born, like this year, rich and elegant in aromas, Barbera has a good sugar content balanced by correct acidity and a very clear aroma of cherries and violets, and Barolo Castelletto already suggests a very fragrant wine with great personality. And then there is our method, strictly organic, which requires constant care of the vines for the whole year, making at least three checks a week during the ripening period to check the health of the plants that grow without any chemical substance.
It is a strange slowness to the rhythms of modernity. But it is the rhythm of care, the high level of competence and respect for our land that gives flavor to our wines.
We can’t wait to share them with you. We are waiting for you!