Harvest Report 2017
Metsovo is the highest-altitude vineyard region in Greece, ranging between 900–1050m in altitude. Slopes are steep, and weather conditions can sometimes be extreme. Despite these challenges, grapes reach optimal maturity thanks to maintaining small grape clusters in these vineyards. Varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Traminer, and smaller blocks of Pinot Noir and Syrah, as well as various indigenous varieties of experimental status.
This year’s weather conditions
In 2017, winter was very heavy from mid-December to late April, with temperatures much below average (notably, there were more than ten days of frost, while the average temperature was -2.2˚C in January and 2.9˚C in February). In May, there was plenty of rainfall and temperatures were normal for the region; starting in early June and for the rest of the summer months, things changed, with high temperatures and an almost complete absence of precipitation. As a result, growth cycle was late in starting due to the heavy winter, and maturation picked up pace in the summer months. There were a few rains in the last third of September, a critical month, and temperatures remained above-average for the season.
Vlachiko was harvested on 18/9, with a 13% vol. alcohol potential; Traminer on 19/9 and 20/9, with alcohol potential above 12.5% vol.; Pinot Noir was harvested on 22/09. Grape harvest started 4–5 days later than 2015, but was characterised by high sugar levels and acidities. All grapes were in excellent condition. Cabernet and Merlot were harvested on 9-12/10, with more than 13.5% vol. potential alcohol content. Experimental indigenous grape varieties were also harvested during the same time.
Yield was approximately 3,000–4,000 kg/hectare depending on variety.
Although it is still early to evaluate this year’s potential in terms of quality, as several vineyard blocks are yet to be harvested, early indications suggest a very good year for red wines, with high phenolic potential and high acidities, and white wines – still in fermentation – of a rich aromatic profile.