It has been a good year for the winemakers of Istria.
“This year, the grape quality is almost perfect”, says Miroslav Latal, the head of viticulture and wine making at the Agrolaguna in Poreč. It is the culmination of the harvest season for malvasia and merlot, the varieties which are the most prevalent in the vineyards of this winery. Employees and seasonal workers enter the vineyards at seven o’clock in the morning and leave them at 4 pm. “The grapes should be picked up as soon as possible”, says Latal.
Agrolaguna’s cellar in Poreč is in operation 24 hours a day, with grapes arriving day and night. The grapes are processed as soon as possible, and oenologists then have the responsibility to turn the quality grapes into the best wines. And this year, the wines could be truly memorable. “I am confident that this year’s wines will be remembered for a long time. It is certainly one of the best years in the last decade”, says Latal.
The good news is that they did not have major problems with diseases of vines. It all came together, ideal weather conditions, the dry and hot summer, and the current period of cool nights and warm days. “With this kind of weather, the preconditions exist for achieving optimum maturity of most varieties. That is why we do our best to harvest as many grapes in the best moment of their maturity”, says Latal.
It is obvious that this is an exceptional year in every respect, totally different from last year, when the summer was very rainy and there were no heat waves. Last year, the quality of grapes picked at the elevated parts of the vineyard was better, while this year the grapes harvested in the hollows are better than the ones on the hills.
The result of this excellent harvest, which is also better than last year’s in volume, will be more premium wines that will come out of Agrolaguna’s cellar. But, we will have to wait for them. The first bottles of wine from the premium category will reach the market in 2017 and later. It is for these quality wines that Agrolaguna has received a number of awards, including medals at exhibitions in London, Germany, France… However, the wines for everyday use will be available by early next year, in the spring of 2016.