How was harvest 2016? Many people ask, mindful of the heavy rains that have affected some areas of Salento in the second week of September. A few days after completing the operations in the vineyard,  we decided to listen from the voice of Luigi Rubino, the balance of this  troubled vintage. Surprises are right behind the door.

“First, it is worth specifying that we cannot use the word troubled for harvest 2016 – says the founder of Tenute Rubino – We had heavy rainfall from September 5 to 10, but until then, the weather conditions were almost perfect. All analyses were indicating an exceptional year and it was enough to have a walk in the fields to realize this: the vineyards were full of strong and healthy bunches. We were forecasting a significant increase in the production with exceptional quality tips.”

Are you referring to the month of August?
“Yes, but in general everything before and after those 5-6 unlucky days.  We were also forced to cancel the Wine Day. All the grapes harvested before September 5 have a perfect flavor profile, I am referring to the white varieties and Primitivo, for which 2016 will be a great vintage. Also, after the heavy rains that hit in very specific areas, for example in the area of ​​Ostuni, the weather was very good, with no more rain at all.”

What were the difficulties during the rainy days?
“The biggest was to access the fields, flooded in some cases. We were about to start harvesting the Negroamaro and Susumaniello and we had to suspend the operations. We were forced to waste some fruit,  dropping the size of the crop. We then employed many more machines than usual. The combination of these two factors resulted in an increase in production costs, but we managed to keep our quality standards. ”

So no problem for the production of the Torre Testa 2016?
“The Torre Testa 2016 will be worthy of its name. Having four estates in as many territories helps us to prevent this kind of inconveniences. For example all our Susumaniello is grown in Jaddico, where the land has exceptional drainage. The only problem stands in the limited number of bottles we’re going to produce, against a demand of Susumaniello steadily increasing. ”

In those days many people feared the worst, but now it seems that vintage 2016 closes with no regrets. Is it true?
“No, there is regret and it travels on two tracks. First: without that unfortunate week now we would have had one of the best vintages ever. Second, just in that week we had planned the Wine Day, the event that collected the heritage of the Women’s harvest, expanding a format that is really part of our identity. Erasing all the outdoor program, notifying all the suppliers, the public, reprogramming the journalists weekend was really disappointing and has left a bitter taste. But we work in agriculture and certain things must be put into account.

I want to invite everyone for November 11. We will organize a big San Martino’s party, in the cellar, to celebrate the many good things about this vintage 2016. Indoor. ”
Our conversation ends with a laugh. We just have to wait and see what Luigi and Romina have in mind for the animation of San Martino 2016. Stay tuned, Tenute Rubino is here.