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2018 Harvest Report

 

 [ Overview ]

2018 was an early harvest for both early and late ripening varieties, in all the wine regions we operate in Northern Greece.

Due to our Sauvignon blanc replanting in Halkidiki, our vineyard in Maronia in Thrace kicked off this year’s harvest with the first Chardonnay grapes picked on 8 August. The closing curtain was in Rapsani; it was on 25 September when we started harvesting at the highest altitude vine parcels (subzone C / 500 – 800m.) of the PDO zone nestled in the foothills of Mount Olympus.

In summary, 2018 harvest was been marked by the following key factors:

  1. The rainfall during the first two months of the summer (June and July), which was locally-heavy in many cases.
  1. The local vine growers‘ caution and alertness, especially regarding plant protection.
  1. The unique characteristics of each vineyard (e.g. soil type, inclination).

 

Indeed, the June – July rain was beneficial for the onset of ripening (veraison) alongside the most suitable -per case- plant protection measures. The water provided the necessary humidity for the vines to cope with the hot and dry weather that was to follow prompting to production of grapes with high concentration and potential alcohol degree.

However, under certain conditions (e.g. flat vineyards with spongier and richer soil in organic matter) the long-duration, heavy rainfall triggered diseases. In fact it had been two decades or more since the grape growers of Northern Greece were pummeled by mildew like this season.

As always, our TSANTALI team of viticulturists stood by local vine growers during this challenging harvest. Taking into consideration weather forecasts, localised conditions and the increased yield, they implemented the most efficient vine and crop management plan, and delivered quality grapes. The successful response to the vast majority of mildew cases led to an increase in the total production, getting back to the average standard (pre-2017 major decrease due to extreme heatwave).

 

The 2018 harvest calendar per vineyard follows:

[ Halkidiki and Mount Athos ]             

HALKIDIKI

White varieties / From August 10

  1. Sauvignon blanc
  2. Μuscat
  3. Μalagousia
  4. Αssyrtiko
  5. Αthiri
  6. Roditis

 

Red varieties / From August 23

  1. Merlot
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon

 

ΜΕTOHI CHROMITSA – MOUNT ATHOS

White varieties / From August 10

  1. Chardonnay
  2. Αssyrtiko
  3. Αthiri
  4. Roditis

 

Red varieties / From August 28

  1. Grenache
  2. Limnio
  3. Cabernet Sauvignon

 

The peninsula of Halkidiki was one of the regions affected by locally-heavy rain, in some cases non-stop for over 15 days, and consequently by mildew.

At our vineyards on the first leg of Halkidiki and Mount Athos, high quality was the trademark of 2018 harvest. From both regions, white and rosé wines stand out for their varietal aromatic intensity and high acidity, while the reds demonstrate a remarkable aromatic concentration and potential alcοhol degree -components that build up ageing potential.

 

[ Maronia, Thrace ]

White varieties / From August 8

  1. Chardonnay
  2. Sauvignon blanc
  3. Muscat

 

Red varieties / From August 15

  1. Syrah
  2. Μavroudi
  3. Limnio

 

The alertness of our viticulturists was behind this great year. The efficient planning and the timely response to weather conditions contributed to a lower, yet of highest quality yield. Fresh, crisp, aromatic whites and rosés are expected; potential alcοhol degree, good concentration and structure for the reds.

 

[ Rapsani, Mount Olympus ]

Harvest commenced on September 14 from the vine parcels up to 250 m. altitude (subzone A) and expanded to subzone B (250-500 m) within the following five days. Since September 25 we started picking grapes from the oldest bush vines of the PDO zone grown at field blend parcels of subzone C (highest altitude / 500 – 800 m). Overall, it was an early harvest (by ten days). All grapes (Xinomavro, Krassato and Stavroto) were healthy with intense fruit, good phenolic maturity and colour, and potential alcοhol degree.

[ Νaoussa ]

The harvest at our vineyard in the area of Strantza started on September 15 and was completed in 10 days. Xinomavro was characterized by a notable phenolic maturity and deep colour, indicators of high concentration. The grapes were healthy with vibrant aromas and satisfactory sugar level.

 

This report was edited by TSANTALI Viticulturists and Oenologists

 

Dr George Salpingidis                          Ilias Antoniadis

Head of Viticulturists                             Head of Oenologists

 

Andreas Anthomelidis

Agriculturist / Head of Naoussa and Rapsani vineyards                       

 

Stavros Ezanidis

Head of Quality Control

Enologist / Head of Rapsani winery

Head of Tsantali Distillates

 

For queries, please contact: marketing@tsantali.gr

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