First steps towards Primitivo vinification
The vinification of Primitivo grapes has just started, but warm weather and good yields promise a great year for Primitivo wines..
They are all lined up. Huge lorries heaped with grapes, hardworking three-wheelers like the Ape Piaggios and old Fiat Puntos with a gigantic trailer. The Vendemmia grape harvest is characterized by an – for Italy – unusual queue culture, where everyone’s patiently waiting their turn at the winery.
One by one the cars drive up on the truck scales, where loads are weighed before a large metal straw dips into the grapes and samples the sweetness. The figures show in the smiling faces of workers and people hanging around the weigh house. Volumes are good and most grapes have acquired a sweetness of 26-27 percent which is a sure sign of ripeness and considered ideal for Primitivo wines with relatively high alcohol levels.
– It has been a very hot summer around Manduria with higher average temperatures than normal in June and July. This has increased the sugar levels, but generally we have had good weather conditions and we expect 2012 to become a great Primitivo vintage, says Anna Gennari from Consorzio Produttori Vini.
After the evaluation the cars drive over to a pit, where the grapes are unloaded. Most of the vehicles haven’t got a tip load, so they are placed on a ramp that can be tilted. The operation takes no more than a few minutes. Then all the grapes are being turned to mush in the grinder as a first step towards vinification. And the producers drive back to the vineyard for another load.