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Vendemmia: The 2022 Irpinia Grape Harvest

It's official - the 2022 harvest has come to a close in Irpinia. While the previous three years have been stellar here in Irpinia, 2022 will be known as one of the toughest years in recent memory. Here's how it went down: The year started off hot, rain was sparse, and right about the end of July came a massive hail storm that just destroyed most of the Aglianico vineyards across the region. Then it rained nearly four times the normal average for August and September.

But it's not all doom and gloom: Winemakers are undeterred and are crafting the best wines possible with the hand nature dealt to the region. However, it serves as an important reminder of the effects climate change is having on our planet. It's more important than ever to support winemakers and others who are working with a focus on practices that support sustainability.

Tell me more:

  • What's the good news from the 2022 harvest? White wines from Irpinia are still looking to be amazing, and one upside to all this is that winemakers will be producing a lot of rosato wines we can look forward to and enjoy! So this just might mean you get some new wines from some of our favorite producers as they adapt for this vintage.

  • Rosato v. Rose - explain Italian Rosatos are generally deeper in color and less common in the USA than their French Rose counterparts. Sometimes this is the result of the natural colors in the pulp of the grape. For example the Aglianico grape has a thinner skin leading to deeper colors developing alongside flavors and perfumes as the grape matures. Sadly, the lighter color is a result of clarification processes winemakers might use (no one in the club!).

  • Isn't it pretty late to be harvesting? Irpinia traditionally has one of the latest harvests in the world, with the white wine harvest starting in mid-late September and the red wine harvest starting at the end of October. The start of harvest has been creeping steadily forward in recent years, a big warning sign we need to be doing even more to protect the environment so we don't lose these wines we love from around the world.

  • Support Irpinia winemakers. Buy a bottle or 12 from a favorite producer. Come visit in Irpinia.

  • Can I participate in the harvest next year? Well, I'm glad you asked! I'm starting work on a week-long, late October experience where you can harvest the grapes for the 2023 vintage, learn to cook traditional Irpinia dishes, taste the wines, and participate in exclusive Southern Italian experiences. Send me a note to learn more and reserve your spot!

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