25 November 2023

Viticulture season 2022-2023 in Italy: weather information and observations from the areas where we operate

The beginning of 2023 was characterised by a remarkable water deficit that affected all Italian regions. The winter of the 2022-2023 viticulture season was the fifth warmest since 1800.

Spring began with above-average temperatures – March was among the ten hottest ever – and then closed slightly above average (+ 0.14 °C); this positive anomaly was slight due to the drop in temperature in April. May decreed the end of our country’s drought phase.

The summer of 2023 was the eighth hottest since the beginning of CNR-ISAC measurements, i.e. since 1800. From the point of view of precipitation, the summer quarter ended on average, over most of Italy, with areas even in surplus.

September and October were two months that recorded the greatest anomaly in terms of temperatures (+0.93°C and +0.85°C respectively). According to the Drought Central hypothesis, these high air and sea temperatures favoured intense evaporation, thus increasing atmospheric humidity, which in turn increased the likelihood of heavy rainfall such as that which occurred at the end of October/beginning of November (flooding in Tuscany and weather warnings in Friuli).

viticultural season  2022-2023 vitenova

On a national level, Assoenologi, Ismea and UIV estimates for 2023 indicate a -12% drop in production compared to 2022, which is well above -20% in many Italian regions.

As far as the technological characteristics of the grapes are concerned, in the 2022-2023 viticultural season, the sugar content at harvest was below average, particularly in the plains; in fact, already from the beginning of September, in many vineyards, the accumulation of sugars had come to a standstill, while the average bunch weight continued to fall and the pHs to rise. Acidity ranged from good to very good, at least until the first ten days of September.

Considering all these aspects, the 2022-2023 wine season will certainly not be remembered as a great year.

North East Italy

After a winter characterised by a discrete drought and rather high temperatures, spring presented itself with a prolonged phase of unstable weather, with fluctuating temperatures and frequent rainfall. Plant protection planning proved difficult due to the adverse weather and high disease pressure, which was almost constant from vegetative development to veraison.

Since the beginning of August, the first symptoms of botrytis, particularly in the vineyards previously affected by the July hailstorms, and of other secondary rot have been detected. Attacks that were slowed down by the exceptional heat in the middle of the month – which led to severe dehydration and scalding of the bunches – but which resumed following the rains and lowering of the pre-harvest temperatures. The spread of Flavescence dorée in the Triveneto is still on the increase, while Scafoideo populations (we talked about it in this article) were lower than in previous years.

Stagione viticola 2022-2023


Meteorologically similar to Friuli, as far as the phytosanitary aspect is concerned, the presence of downy mildew was recorded, although with limited damage to the bunch. Other problems occurred in the spring with above-average vine Noctua damage, in addition to the usual flavescence and esca disease symptoms. In addition, in the eastern part of the region, an important presence of Popillia japonica was found, which consequently led to more or less intense defoliation of the foliage.

Central Italy

The winter in Central Italy was also rather warm with high rainfall in Tuscany and low rainfall in Emilia-Romagna. May was decidedly wetter than normal, resulting in the first Peronospora attacks, which however occurred in a very mild form. From the end of flowering-beginning of fruit set, the attacks became more intense, with severe attacks on the bunch, even in larval form. The anti-oid defence gave some problems in Emilia, while in Tuscany the presence of the pathogen in the summer was lower than average. An increase in the population of Scaphoideus titanus was reported.

viticultural season 2022-2023


During the flowering period, there was abundant rainfall (more than 150 mm) and strong gusts of wind that, in May and June, favoured the formation of vigorous vegetation and the onset of phytopathologies, especially downy mildew, which affected native vines with greater incidence. The record heat, recorded in July with temperatures reaching 42°C, caused the vineyards to slow down their biochemical processes; in some cases, the bunches failed to overcome the stress of exposure to the sun’s rays.

In the first few days of August, although average temperatures remained high, there were more and more widespread cloud accumulations, especially over the western part of the region; these produced downpours of thunderstorms and, more importantly, led to a drop in temperatures, thus favouring the vegetative-productive recovery of the vines. The ripening of the grapes was delayed by about a week compared to the last few vintages, approaching a schedule considered normal.

17 March 2023

Giornate Vitenova 2023: viticulture today

The Giornate Vitenova 2023, held on 7-8 March in Tuscany at Castello di Albola, Biondi Santi-Il Greppo and Tenuta di Argiano, came to an end.

There was wide participation in the event by the wineries that collaborate with Vitenova to realise the idea of a conscious, innovative and holistic viticulture, where the strategies adopted in the vineyard are thought of as an investment of the present in the future and aimed at respecting nature.
Wineries from Italy and abroad participated (Tuscany, Veneto, Piedmont, Umbria, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sicily, Slovenia and Croatia).

giornate vitenova 2023

The themes of the 2023 conference

The conference was opened by Stefano Zaninotti, who presented the new Vitenova database, followed by Stefano Amadeo, who spoke about the new Diversity Ark certification.

Vitenova’s new database will include more than 38,000 analysis data collected over the years, making it possible to compare both individual data and winery data with those in the database broken down by variety, year, territory, type of analysis, type of vineyard, type of management and many other indices. It will make it possible to know trends, averages, reference values over the years for the individual holding, comparing them with the territory or other areas, with varieties, etc. Finally it will be possible to evaluate analyses with respect to climatic trends (rainfall, temperature) and the type of agronomic management.

The certification ‘Diversity Ark. Producing together with nature’ is a new Certification Mark that is intended to be streamlined and free of bureaucratic complications. It allows an in-depth assessment of the viability and potential of the agro-ecosystem of farms in order to improve their management aimed at naturalness and excellence of production.
It stems from the desire to transfer knowledge and increase farmers’ and consumers’ awareness of tangible agro-ecological aspects that reflect on the health of the environment, the soil and the people who work in it.

vitenova 2023 albola

The grapevine and the water deficit in the example of the 2022 season

To explain the behaviour of the plant Sivilotti used an increasingly central and topical concept: ‘resilience’. Resilience is defined as the ability to resist and react in the face of difficulties and adversity, in this case of the grapevine plant. However, the concept is applicable to different areas, in a broader sense to the challenges of global agriculture vis-à-vis climate change, the reaction of farming communities to food challenges, sociology and ecology, psychology and to economics. Nowdays a trendy concept that is well suited at this historical moment to different aspects of human and terrestrial life.

giornate vitenova conference

The resilience of the vine in 2022 has been observed with very fast physiological adaptations at the beginning of the season. A plant that is water-stressed at the beginning of the season develops the ability to react and self-regulate more effectively to manage its subsequent course. This has been observed in a lesser development of the foliage, which has led to a higher transpiration capacity, smaller vessels and osmotic adjustments that have enabled the plant to resist water.
The vine that reacts late to water stress, on the other hand, is at a disadvantage compared to the plant that learned early on how to handle a critical situation such as lack of water and high temperatures.

giornate vitenova 2023 viticoltura

Sivilotti analysed how this affected canopy development, how young leaves and xylem vessels react to this kind of stress. With the low availability of water, stomatal closure is observed, an action performed by the plant in order to conserve its scarce stocks. Along with lower photosynthesis, nitrogen uptake and leaf area, increased root growth was observed.

As far as grape quality and polyphenolic ripeness are concerned, moderate water stress improves grape quality by partly reducing production. Excessive stress, on the other hand, worsens grape quality and has negative effects on plant physiology. It is therefore important to optimise water use through deficit irrigation strategies.



The adherence to the timetable together with the invaluable collaboration and hospitality services of the three host wineries were fundamental to the success of the event.

A heartfelt thank you to those who accepted the invitation, to those who came and to those who would have liked to have been there but could not, and to the people with whom Vitenova collaborates for a viticulture based on respect for nature and a passion for vines and wine.

14 February 2022

Vintage 2021 in Italy

Meteorological trends and observations from the wine-production areas in which Vitenova Vine Wellness operates

The 2021 season was characterized by opposite meteorological events: spring frosts, hail and a particularly dry summer, especially in central and southern Italy. Something that is happening more and more frequently. Italian total rainfall for summer 2021 was 32% below average, the sixth driest on record since 1800. 2021 in Italy was the tenth warmest year since 1800 (anomaly of +0.71° C compared to the 1981-2010 average), not to mention that 9 of the last 10 years are among the hottest ever recorded (at the top in 2018, with +1.17°C). The changeable weather of the last vintage has negatively affected the productivity of the vineyards; overall national production will be down 9% from 2020, according to forecasts from the associations of Italian oenologists and the government institute for agriculture, Ismea.

13 January 2021

Artificial Neural Network (ANN) modelling for the estimation of soil microbial biomass in vineyards soils

We are glad to announce that we have contributed together with Elisa Pellegrini, Nicola Rovere, Irene Franco, Maria de Nobili and Marco Contin to this new study, published in the journal “Biology and Fertility of Soil” (2020)