Some Italian regions such as Friuli or Trentino, in north of Italy, have already started the traditional 2016 harvest, collecting the Pinot Noir grapes, the Chardonnay and the Pinot Gris; in Tuscany, in the Chianti region there are still 2 weeks to wait for the grape harvest, in the while it might happens something fun.
During the 100 life days of the vine, those that it takes, on average, to make a good crop of grapes, if you approach the vine-maker looking thoughtfully at the sky and ask “everything is fine?”, He will answer you a bit worried “Mah! We hope it does not rain! “. This happens for two reasons: the vine, to make aromatic and rich grapes, does not need a lot of water that would dilute its juices; and more, roots in search of water grow more in the depths of the soil and will extract rare and precious minerals. But there is another reason: the rain brings moisture and humidity and may develop harmful mold and dangerous diseases that can destroy entire harvests and, sometime, the vineyards themselves.
For this reason, during the season, workers spend many times in the rows spraying on the leaves a mineral substance called in Italian “verderame” in Tuscan dialect “ramato”, in English verdigris: a mixture of a copper sulphate which protects the vines from diseases.
It may happen that the wine-maker who patiently had just sprayed the vines with verdigris is forced by new rain to pass it again: this is the hard life of the wine maker! Nature is unpredictable and most of all climate.
But here comes the fun part!
If now, in the approach of the grape harvest, you get close to the same wine maler who thoughtfully looks at the sky and ask “everything is fine?” He will answer: “Well! Let’s hope it rains! “, Leaving you amazed. But how? Until a few weeks ago a raindrop worried you and now you would willingly start a propitiatory rain dance!?
Do not mind, the wine-maker has not been too long in the cellar (having a couple of drinks!) He wants the rain because in these last days before the harvest begins, in which the grapes are ripe and vines have led to completion of their mission, a beautiful natural washed from the sky will allow the grapes to take off precisely those last deposits of verdigris and dust, and so the grapes will be perfectly clean to make new gorgeous wines.