Temperatures are rising and weather events are becoming increasingly more intense. For Tedeschi research and experimentation are fundamental tools to guarantee quality production. Heat tolerance, defense against burning, ripening as late as possible. These are only some of the changes that weather conditions impose on the grapes of Valpolicella, and not only there.
“Supporting research in the area of wine growing has become not only a duty for those who appreciate our wine, but it also translates into a benefit for the territory. When climate change sounds the alarm, it becomes even more urgent for us to protect the territory and our heritage,” explains Riccardo Tedeschi who runs the family business together with his sisters Antonietta and Sabrina. “Changes in the climate have become obvious. Today we cannot avoid facing the challenges that come with extreme heat and weather conditions that are intensifying and for this reason have become worrisome.” The Tedeschi family has always maintained that investing resources in research and studies is a moral obligation.
“We have started to notice some critical issues: the relative early ripening of grapes that leads to an increase in alcohol content of the wine due to an excessive accumulation of sugars, and the mismatch between the technological maturity of the grape and phenolic and aromatic ripening”, continues Riccardo Tedeschi. The winery quickly understood that it was urgent to take measures and learn to utilize new cultivation techniques that are able to mitigate the impact of global warming. We have initiated a study in an area of our land where some rows have been treated with traditional techniques while others have been treated with the objective to retard as much as possible the ripening of the grapes until the end of September and the beginning of October. Tedeschi further explains: “Ripening with cooler temperatures has several advantages: greater complexity and aromatic intensity of the grapes as well as better color of the wine beyond just the characterization and differentiation from which the grape comes, namely the cru.”
The winery, thanks in part to valuable contributions from Prof. Giovanni Battista Tornielli of the University of Verona, is anchoring itself in experimentation applied to work done in the vineyard. The leaf system is being reduced by pinching back and defoliation at different points in the median apical portion of the foliage – above the fruit bearing zone – in order to delay ripening as much as possible. Pruning has also been delayed and is actually carried out twice, leading to a delay in the plant’s vegetation. Natural treatments, for example plant growth regulators, are being used with the same objective of delaying ripening time.
“We are in an experimental phase”, concludes Tedeschi. “Our winery is committed to carrying out research the results from which will be able to be evaluated naturally only after a few years.”
Tedeschi is particularly sensitive to environmental issues and is one of the first wineries in the Veneto to have obtained the Equalitas certification, an important recognition in the area of sustainability dedicated to the production of wine based on social, environmental and economic pillars. In addition, since 2017 in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Verona and Professor Maurizio Ugliano, Tedeschi has supported an important study dedicated to the aromatic character of grapes and wines from a single vineyard and the principle factors contributing to their expression with a particular focus on the Amarone.