Vintages - 2014 for Valle Reale
This was the most difficult year for Valle Reale.
Truly anomalous weather conditions characterised the entire season: from spring with steady rainfall to a summer with autumn temperatures. For example: In just the first three months of the year, one third of the rain for the entire year had already fallen. In such a situation, some diseases of the vines unfortunately prospered, especially the peronospora, which attacked both the leaves and the clusters, and oidium. The temperatures, which were noticeably lower than the average in these zones, resulted in late budding. Consequently, all the phases of development of the clusters were delayed until the moment of the harvest, which we decided to anticipate (September 12th for Capestrano and September 20th for Popoli) in order not to risk losing the entire crop.
One of the most memorable episodes was a violent and abundant hail storm that hit Popoli on May 25th, and the fire that damaged a part of the rows of the Capestrano Vineyard on August 13th. We succeeded in putting it out thanks to the intervention of the employees and friends of Valle Reale, together with the fire department.
We even had an early snowfall around mid-October.
The year 2014 was undoubtedly the worst year ever for Valle Reale: the loss of clusters due to the diseases summed with the absolutely exacting selection made, reduced production by 80% compared to the average of previous years.
Given this situation, we were obliged to make a painful decision: not to produce any Montepulciano d’Abruzzo cru. A difficult and economically burdensome decision but in keeping with our philosophy, because the grapes we harvested did not guarantee the quality necessary for a high-level production, which is always our first objective.
This was the year when we laid the foundation for our biodynamic garden project.