On 10 August, the Dolcetto grapes began to darken, or change colour. This is an important moment, since it is when the plant starts to change its way of thinking, shifting its focus from the leaves to the fruit. Last year, the approximate date on which the grapes started to darken was 26 July, see this post from 2012, so you can see how this year the season has stretched itself out.
At the same time we are beginning the quantitative and qualitative selection of Dolcetto and Barbera grapes, the idea being to lighten the plants’ load.
Why did I mention regret? At the viticultural level, as I wrote in the last post, I cannot complain, since despite the fact that this was a difficult year, we did not have any serious problems with fungus attacks. The only blemish has been a blasted case of oidium in the Briccolina vineyard. I am unhappy and angry, because beyond the quantitative damage, this fungus can also reappear next year. The only way of stopping it is with powdered sulphur. We use the kind that is mined, since it is less toxic than the kind derived from petrol.
The consolation is that in Langa and Roero this year the classic fungal
diseases grape mildew and oidium did not spare anyone, the rainy spring was
damaging to the Nebbiolo grapes. This conditions will have repercussions on the
2013 vintage in terms of quantity; quality, luckily, has not been compromised
yet. We shall see!