9 July 2024

2024 Vintage in Italy: data from the first 6 months

According to Drought Central, the start of the 2024 global year was the warmest ever with an anomaly of +1.52°C compared to the last 12 months. 

In Italy, temperatures remained at or slightly above average. Rainfall was above average in most of Europe with the exception of some areas in central and southern Italy. Sicily is the region with the most serious situation, with the declaration of a ‘state of severe drought natural disaster for the entire regional territory’ on 9 February. The Eastern Alps have the smallest deficit (-29%) in terms of snow precipitation, with -40% compared to the 2011-2022 average.

Watercourses and lakes in northern Italy reached values above the filling averages for the period, while in the south the situation remains worrying.  March and April also recorded a temperature anomaly of +1.68°C and +1.58°C respectively, making it the second warmest March and April on record globally. 
May was also very warm compared to the average and was the eleventh consecutive month with a temperature anomaly of 1.5°C or more.

Rainfall continued to be abundant in central and northern Italy. Sicily, on the other hand, continued to suffer from drought, with an average reservoir filling of 30% and a minimum hydroelectric production with values comparable to the lowest production period of the year.

annata 2024

Vintage 2024: vine phenology

In terms of phenology in the 2024 vintage, budding started early and by the end of March, the early-sprouting varieties already had 3 fully extended leaves, while the later-sprouting varieties were between bud opening and first extended leaf. With the temperature rise in early to mid-April, sprouting accelerated and 2 to 3 leaves developed within a week. 

From 15 April onwards, the drop in temperature again slowed down the vegetative development and in some cases there was a real standstill.
A new acceleration in development at the end of April led to the early sprouting varieties having between five and eight leaves spread out. 

Flowering started almost 15 days earlier (20 May) than historically, however, it lasted a long time, ending around 10 June for the late varieties. In some cases, flowering did not take place under optimal light, humidity and temperature conditions, resulting in a lower than average fruit set percentage.

The development of the berries is currently complete for the early varieties, and in some rare cases, the first berries with extrusion berries were observed.

2024 vintage: adversities

At the phytopathological level with regard to downy mildew, in the 2024 vintage the first infections appeared in mid-April in various Italian regions, including Friuli and Tuscany, and were therefore attributable to the rain of 31 March – 1 April.

New infections also appeared on leaves and inflorescences throughout the month of May, also quite virulently and with the appearance of localised secondary infections in foci. From the end of May, infections also appeared on bunches, which became increasingly aggressive, with an explosion of infections in mid-June, both on bunches and on leaves.

As far as powdery mildew infections are concerned, the first symptoms appeared in mid-May, with even very intense attacks on leaves in the historically affected hillside vineyards. Thereafter, the situation stabilised with very few infections until the following month. From June, the first conidia infections on bunches were found, which gradually increased in all areas between the Upper Adriatic and Central Italy.

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