This just in from Owen 'birdman' Bird, Enotria group winemaker, who has been overseeing the harvest in Sicily for us...
During winter and spring there seemed to be more than sufficient rainfall, and more than would seasonally be expected. This tended to produce a greater level of vegetation and meant some varietals tended towards physiological ripeness somewhat later than normal. A hot June and July provided plenty of sugar ripeness and vintage commenced in the first week of August. The season factors resulted in a number of varietals having a reduction in their normal yield levels whilst aromatic development and structures in the wines were very good. Cold fermentation and reductive handling techniques achieved excellent results, combined with yeast selections appropriate for both the varietal characteristics and the particular nature of the vintage.
Early harvesting of more aromatic varieties has produced some vibrant results with fine delicate structures, not traditionally associated with Sicilian white wine production. The close consultation working relationship between the viticultural team and the winemaking team allowed a harvest planned to maximise these opportunities.
Whites are showing both structure, balance, and good aromatic profiles. Advances in handling techniques are providing crisper, more vibrant whites. Reds this year responded well to winemaking techniques resulting in good deep colours and particularly good fruit flavours in both Nero d'Avola and Shiraz.